Two New Mexico Policemen Fatally Shot
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- Two Albuquerque police officers were shot to death after going to pick up a man whose doctor requested a mental health evaluation for him.
Police Chief Ray Schultz, in an early morning news conference Friday, announced the deaths in ''one of the saddest days in the history of the Albuquerque Police Department.''
The names of the officers, whom Schultz called ''these two heroes,'' were not immediately released.
Police arrested a man early Friday morning, but also did not release his name. Before he was picked up, police said they were looking for a man in camouflage pants, a black jacket and glasses and riding a black motorcycle.
The two officers were killed after they arrived at an address near downtown about 10 p.m. Thursday after a doctor notified police the man was having mental health problems, department spokesman John Walsh said.
The officers were taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where they died, Walsh said.
The chief said both men were veterans with 20 years' experience.
''Members of the Albuquerque Police Department and the Albuquerque community have suffered a tremendous loss,'' he said.
Talking to their families was ''the toughest thing I've ever had to do,'' Schultz said, his voice breaking.
''We're grieving,'' he said. ''We're all grieving.''
The chief asked residents who saw officers to give them a wave or a smile. A young man, without a word, left a single red rose Friday on the windshield of a police cruiser blocking the street where the shootings occurred, television station KOAT reported.
Gov. Bill Richardson ordered flags to half staff in the state through Saturday.
Maren Dey, who lives near the shooting scene, said she was awake when the shots began. ''To me, it seemed like a gunfight,'' she said.
''It just seemed like it was people shooting back and forth,'' she said. ''It got really intense really fast.''
She went out to the porch a while later to find police everywhere.
''They were lined up in the streets and driving in the alleys,'' she said. ''It was more police then I've seen for a long time.''
She called her sister Nicole Dey as she was getting off work, and Nicole advised her to hide in the basement until she got home.
''The fear was pretty thick,'' Nicole Dey said. ''We stopped at a 7-Eleven after and there were some officers who couldn't even speak.''
Zachary Shank, who lives on the corner where the confrontation occurred, said he heard shots and ran to the front of his house, where he saw an officer get shot.
''He doubled over and stumbled out of the street,'' Shank told The Albuquerque Tribune.
Shank called 911, then returned to the front of the house in time to see a motorcyclist speed by.
A man making a pizza delivery at the time also heard the shots.
''I heard two exchanges. ... The first was eight or nine shots, really fast, like boom, boom, boom, then a short pause and like three or four more shots,'' Shawn Spruce told the Albuquerque Journal.
The last shooting involving Albuquerque police occurred in March, when two officers were wounded in a gun battle after a traffic stop in downtown Albuquerque. Officers John Garcia, 35, and Josh Otzenberger, 25, were each shot twice. The man police said shot them, Scott McMyne, 25, was killed in the shootout.
In 2003, Sgt. Carol Oleksak was shot in the head by a mentally ill man who wrested her gun away while she was on foot patrol. The man, Duc Minh Pham, continued walking, brandishing the gun, until other officers shot him to death.
Oleksak returned to work after months of rehabilitation.
God bless them and their families.
Makes me think different when I hear about a mentally ill guy who gets killed by cops after the parents called them. You just don't know what you're gonna face and everybody and their uncle is going to second-guess you.
Rest In Peace, Heroes.
Prayers sent for their families.
With the doctors statements and the police admission that the man was 5150, can he even be held accoutable for the murders under New Mexico law?
Police: Man Of Interest In Officers' Deaths May Have Killed 5
Friday Called 'One Of The Saddest Days' In Department History
POSTED: 5:45 a.m. MDT August 19, 2005
UPDATED: 4:59 p.m. MDT August 19, 2005
Story by The New Mexico Channel
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Police have taken a man into custody in connection with the fatal shootings of two Albuquerque police officers Thursday night.
John Hyde, 48, of Albuquerque, is being held on a $5 million cash bond in connection with the deaths of Officers Mike King and Richard Smith. Hyde has been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. He may be responsible for as many as five murders in the Albuquerque area this week, police said. They include the killing of a state worker and two men at an Albuquerque motorcycle shop Thursday. "APD detectives were able to quickly link this crime to another homicide of a Department of Transportation worker that occurred earlier in the day Thursday," said Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz. "We didn't know that at the time of the original call."
Officers were dispatched to 1521 Gold SE after 10 p.m. on Thursday on a simple call -- to pick up a man on a mental health evaluation order.
Schultz said shots were fired, and both officers suffered fatal wounds.
Schultz, in a news conference Friday, said the deaths of the officers marked "one of the saddest days in the history of the Albuquerque Police Department." He said they had each served the city for more than 20 years.
"When they got to the scene, they didn't know there was a monster there waiting for them, who didn't care about the job they were doing. He took their lives in a cowardly fashion," Schultz said.
Fighting back tears, Schultz also said informing King's and Smith's families about the murders was the toughest thing he's ever had to do.
"The men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department are a tight family, and the Albuquerque community has suffered a tremendous loss," Schultz said.
An arrest warrant showed Hyde indicated to officers that he was responsible for the officer shootings.
Keith Hensly, who lives in the area where the shooting took place, said he was about to go to bed when he heard gunfire.
"I heard a couple of shots in rapid succession. I knew immediately it was a gunshot -- it was not fireworks," said Hensly.
Hensly said the sound of gunfire is nothing new to his neighborhood.
The chief also asks for the public's help in dealing with the loss: "If you see an officer, wave at them today. Smile at them. We're all grieving."
Gov. Bill Richardson has ordered flags to half-staff.
Mayor Martin Chavez said he has "never been prouder of APD than in the last 24 hours."
"We're going to put this monster behind bars -- and he's never, ever coming out," Chavez said.
Over on GlockTalk, they are saying both officers were retired, and were working on as volunteers...........
New Mexico Begins Week of Mourning For Killed Officers
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- Fellow officers, family and friends wept and reminisced at a viewing Sunday of two Albuquerque police officers who were killed in a shooting last week.
The viewing began a week of mourning for Officers Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 47. Their funerals will be Tuesday and Thursday.
King and Smith were fatally shot Thursday night outside the home of a mentally ill man they were asked to take to a hospital for an evaluation.
John Hyde, 48, has pleaded not guilty to four open counts of murder for the deaths of the officers and two others on Thursday and one count of armed robbery.
Hyde also is accused of robbing and then fatally shooting David Fisher, 17, and Garret Iversen, 26, both employees at Rider Valley Motorcycles in Albuquerque. Police say $50 was missing from the shop's cash register.
Retired officer Joe Ball worked for a decade with Smith and King in the traffic unit. He said both men were well respected and helped train younger officers throughout their careers.
''A real waste of two beautiful individuals,'' Ball said.
Hyde's family, too, expressed regret over the deaths.
His brother, Robert, said the family did not feel it was appropriate to comment at this time, but expressed the family's ''deepest sympathy'' to the families who lost loved ones and ''everyone else affected by this tragedy.''
At an arraignment Saturday, a public defender representing Hyde said he is schizophrenic and bipolar.
At the arraignment, Hyde complained about having to wear a red prison jumpsuit, saying he looked like Elvis Presley.
Hyde also told the judge he was upset about not having time to groom himself before the hearing. He was being held without bond at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center.
Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg has said her office may seek the death penalty against Hyde.
Police also are investigating whether Hyde was responsible for a fifth death on Thursday. The body of Ben Lopez, a Department of Transportation worker. Police say he was shot to death.
Authorities say the slayings appear to be linked by ballistics.
Detectives were waiting for forensic tests on evidence gathered at the Department of Transportation worker's shooting.
Police spokesman John Walsh said Sunday about a thousand mourners are expected to attend the officers' funerals.
King's funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Legacy Church in Albuquerque. Smith's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Albuquerque's Hoffmantown Church.
Both men will be laid to rest at Sunset Gardens Memorial following the services.
Just backs my belief that mentally ill people should be offed. Everybody wins.
Even Hitler backed down from that viewpoint, when he stopped the extermination of the infirm and mentally ill in 1941 due to public outcry.
I heard that the first officer went down with an instantly fatal head shot. The second officer went to grab him and extract him when he took two rounds in the back, which his vest stopped. A third round entered between vest panels. He continued to drag his fallen comrade out of the kill zone, and was transported to a local hospital, where he died.
Slain New Mexico Officer Remembered, Suspect Linked To Fifth Killing
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Family, friends and fellow officers from around the state will get to say their goodbyes to one of two officers killed last week during a shooting rampage that also claimed the lives of a state worker and two young employees at a motorcycle shop.
A funeral for Officer Michael King was scheduled for Tuesday morning at Legacy Church in Albuquerque. He will be laid to rest at Sunset Gardens Memorial following the service. Police spokesman John Walsh said hundreds of mourners were expected to attend.
King, 50, and Officer Richard Smith, 47, were gunned down last Thursday outside the home of John Hyde, a 48-year-old mentally ill man they were asked to take to a hospital for an evaluation.
Smith's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Albuquerque's Hoffmantown Church.
Police on Monday linked Hyde to the killing of Department of Transportation worker Ben Lopez through ballistics from a fairly rare revolver - a 1918 Webley Mark VI, according to Michael Haag, a forensics scientist with the department.
Mayor Martin Chavez said 30 officers worked overtime throughout the weekend to solve the murder of Lopez, whom a co-worker found shot to death outside a state warehouse last Thursday morning.
Police Chief Ray Schultz said a motive has not been identified.
Hyde faces an open count of murder and tampering with evidence in the Lopez case, according to a warrant filed late Monday.
Hyde was arraigned over the weekend in the deaths of the two officers and motorcycle shop workers David Fisher, 17, and Garret Iversen, 26.
Hyde is accused of robbing and then fatally shooting Fisher and Iversen at Rider Valley Motorcycles in Albuquerque about 10 hours after Lopez was found dead. Police say $50 was missing from the shop's cash register.
Lt. Paul Feist said officers began noticing obvious characteristics from the bullets at all three crime scenes as early as Friday.
''There were some similarities that really stood out,'' Feist said. ''It's something you don't see every day in bullets.''
Police recovered the .45-caliber revolver near downtown Albuquerque where the officers were shot.
Hyde has pleaded not guilty to four open counts of murder for the deaths of the officers and the motorcycle shop workers. He also has pleaded not guilty to one count of armed robbery.
Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg has said her office might seek the death penalty against Hyde.
Slain Officers Didn't Know Danger They Faced
POSTED: 7:02 a.m. MDT August 24, 2005
UPDATED: 7:58 a.m. MDT August 24, 2005
Story by The New Mexico Channel
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The two officers gunned down after being sent to find John Hyde and take him to a psychiatric hospital last Thursday were only given his name and address, and didn't know about the threat he could have posed.
According to a report in the Albuquerque Tribune, officers Richard W. Smith and Michael King didn't know about the shootings Hyde allegedly carried out earlier in the day.
The report also said the officers didn't know about communications between Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital and the Albuquerque Police Department.
A nurse at the hospital where Hyde, 48, was a regular patient told police Hyde was off his medication, the Journal reported.
A hospital representative told the Journal that no one at the hospital was aware of the shootings earlier in the day.
Hyde has now been charged in connection with five slayings.
Smith, 46, King, 50, were gunned as they arrived to take Hyde to the hospital.
State Department of Transportation worker Ben Lopez was shot to death at his job site early in the day.
David Fisher, 17, and Garrett Iversen, 22, were later found dead at a motorcycle shop.
A lot of professional people would consider that statement a sign of mental illness.
Second Slain Officer Remembered Thursday
POSTED: 7:32 a.m. MDT August 24, 2005
UPDATED: 1:03 p.m. MDT August 25, 2005
Story by The New Mexico Channel
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Albuquerque police Officer Richard Smith will be laid to rest Thursday.
Smith is one of five men who were killed a week ago, allegedly by a mentally ill man.
Smith's funeral will begin at 10 a.m. at Hoffmantown Church in northeast Albuquerque.
A funeral procession will follow. It will leave the church, heading west to Interstate 25, then south to Lomas. From there, it will wind through downtown Albuquerque to Sunset Memorial Park off Menaul near Edith.
During the procession, the southbound lanes of I-25 will be closed from Paseo Del Norte to the Big I, where I-25 and Interstate 40 meet. Drivers will routed to frontage roads and side streets.
Smith will forever be remembered as a man who died serving his city selflessly. He worked on the force since 1980, around the time when his father retired from APD.
Smith retired in 2000, but he loved his community, his job and the department so much that he applied to get rehired in 2004.
Smith was married and had a 13-year-old daughter.
John Hyde, 48, is also accused of killing Officer Michael King along with Smith, New Mexico Department of Transportation worker Ben Lopez outside a state warehouse early Thursday, and robbing and shooting David Fisher, 17, and Garret Iversen, 22, at River Valley Motorcycles earlier in the evening.