Weekend News Roundup: Albuquerque Police Release More Shooting Details

May 23, 2014

Albuquerque Police Release More Shooting Details  The Associated Press, Russell Contreras

Albuquerque police say a knife-wielding man yelled at officers to shoot him after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and then slashed the throat of a man who tried to help her.

Deputy Chief William Roseman played audio recordings from the officers in which they yelled at him to drop the knife and he yelled back for them to shoot him.

The officers pleaded with the man, but Roseman says the man continued to aggressively approach them.

The officers then fired at the man. He was taken to an Albuquerque hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Roseman says the man has been identified as Ralph Chavez. He did not release the officers' names.

This marks the third fatal shooting by Albuquerque police since the U.S. Justice Department released a scathing review of the agency's use of force. In all, police have had 40 shootings since 2010.

Albuquerque Police Shoot, Kill Man - The Albuquerque Journal, The Associated Press

Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Thursday evening after police officials say efforts to de-escalate a tense situation were unsuccessful.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the man allegedly threw a woman to the ground outside a business and then slashed the throat of a “good Samaritan” who came to her aid.

Officials say the man had a knife and that it was unclear whether officers tried to use non-lethal weapons before firing their guns and killing him. The “good Samaritan” is in critical condition, the woman was treated and released.

The Associated Press reports critics of Albuquerque police say they are planning a protest march in June and plan to put the city's top officer "on trial."

David Correia, a critic of the police and an American studies professor at the University of New Mexico, said the march is scheduled for June 21 at Roosevelt Park and is expected to draw the families of those shot by police.

Earlier this month at a rowdy city council meeting, Correia called for a citizen's arrest of Police Chief Gorden Eden over recent police shootings. Protesters say they intend to put Eden on trial.

The city is entering negotiations with the Justice Department over pending reform following a harsh report blasting Albuquerque police on its use of force and 40 police shootings since 2010.

Dog Tests Positive For Plague In New Mexico The Associated Press

State health officials are reporting significant plague activity in the East Mountain area which includes parts of Bernalillo, Torrance and Santa Fe counties.

They say a dog from the Edgewood area was confirmed positive for plague this week.

So far this year, there have been three dogs from the Edgewood area and a cat from Torrance County with confirmed plague.

Health officials say a Torrance County man was diagnosed with plague last month, but is expected to recover.

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas. But it can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

There were four human plague cases in New Mexico last year with one fatality.

4 Dead After Small Plane Crashes In Southwest New Mexico The Associated Press

Authorities say four people are dead after a small plane crashed near Silver City in southwestern New Mexico.

Federal Aviation Administration officials say the single-engine plane went down Friday afternoon about a mile northeast of Whiskey Creek Airport and then burst into flames.

New Mexico State Police say all four people aboard the plane were killed. Their identities and hometowns aren't immediately available.

It's unclear if the crash was weather-related.

Albuquerque TV station KOB reports that a small trailer park near the airport was evacuated as a result of the crash.

FAA officials say that due to fire and crash damage, the type of aircraft can't immediately be determined and it's unknown who owned the plane.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive at the crash scene Saturday.

Experiment Aims To Help Mexican Gray Wolf Pups The Associated Press

With threats of disease, malnutrition and even inbreeding, the deck can be stacked against a Mexican gray wolf pup.

Federal wildlife managers have long been troubled by the survival rates of wild-born pups, so they're experimenting in an effort to boost the population as they reintroduce the predator to the American Southwest.

Biologists have transplanted a pair of 2-week-old pups born in a large litter to another pack of wolves with a smaller litter and more rearing experience.

The cross-fostering technique has worked with red wolves on the East Coast. It has not been tried with Mexican wolves until now.

Biologists say the goal is not only to grow the population, but to have wolves that are genetically diverse and can steer clear of trouble while living in the wild.