The Albuquerque Police Department said it deployed a SWAT team to the scene of Armand Martin’s shooting death because he refused to leave the house and posed a danger to others.

An APD officer shot and killed Martin on Saturday evening after Martin barricaded himself inside his house. Police arrived at the house in response to a 911 call made by Martin’s wife, who reported a domestic dispute, according to Eric Garcia, deputy chief of APD.

“Because of the armed nature of the subject, the fact that he was barricaded and refused to exit the house and that neighbors were in danger, APD SWAT was called to respond,” he said at a press conference Sunday. “The SWAT team included crisis negotiators, a crisis negotiator supervisor and a department psychologist.”

The shooting came less than a month after the Department of Justice released a report that stated APD frequently engages in excessive use of force.

By Aaron Sweet
Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Garcia holds a press conference at APD Headquarters to release information about Armand Martin, the man who died during APD’s most recent officer-involved shooting. During the press conference, APD played a recording of the 911 call Martin’s wife made before the shooting.

The DOJ found deficiencies in the leadership of the APD SWAT unit, according to the report. SWAT’s deficiencies in on-site supervision contributed to the department’s unreasonable use of force, according to the report.

The officer who fired was a member of the SWAT team, Garcia said. The team attempted different techniques that included communication with the subject, the use of tactical vehicles as cover and calling crisis negotiation experts, he said.

During the press conference, APD played the 911 recording of Martin’s wife. The woman said her husband had pulled out a silver handgun and that she left the house with her children.

About five hours after police received the initial 911 call, Garcia said Martin went to the second floor of the home. Officers reported hearing at least one gunshot pass over their heads, he said.

“Officers deployed tear gas into the second story of the home in an attempt to move the suspect from the second story and prevent further shooting from the suspect,” Garcia said.

Officers did not return fire after the initial gunshots, he said. Martin exited the front door actively shooting and an officer fired a single shot in response, he said.

Martin suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, Garcia said. The department is waiting on a toxicology report to find out whether Martin was under the influence, he said.

There will be lapel video and audio of the incident available Tuesday, Garcia said.

Forensic scene analysis revealed two handguns next to Martin, another handgun inside the residence and numerous bullet holes and casings, Garcia said. He said at least one gunshot entered a neighbor’s home.

The officer involved in the shooting was a 12-year veteran of the department, and this is his first officer-involved shooting, Garcia said. He said the officer is on standard administrative leave.

The department would not release the name of the officer at this time.