Police explain why shots not fired back at suspect

Posted at: 03/11/2013 6:15 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Felix Romero
Photo: Felix Romero

The high speed car chase that caused at least four car wrecks and multiple shots fired at police on Saturday has some people wondering why police didn't shoot at the car being driven by 30 year-old Felix Romero.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 asked police that question Monday and they told us Romero was driving 80 to 100 miles per hour and they weren't close enough to shoot him.

Police said over 15 shots were fired by Romero and his passenger. "These officers as it was unfolding had to play this out with only seconds to think about it. At no point during this did they feel it was safe to actively engage these offenders," said William Roseman of the Albuquerque Police Department.

Not one officer shot at the white SUV. But could they have? Police said yes.

"The officer has to feel that they are in fear of their life or the fear of someone else's," said Roseman.

Police said due to how fast Romero was going, they weren't confident what the bullets would hit; maybe Romero's vehicle or maybe a car driven by someone else. "We have to protect everyone. Um, and at this point it wasn't safe for them to stop the threat," said Roseman.

Romero was in court Monday.

KOB checked Romero's record and found six prior convictions, including one in 2007, when he pleaded guilty for assaulting a police officer.

"That's what's killing us right now in the city of Albuquerque is these repeat offenders continue to get re-released and go out and re-offend and commit the same crimes over and over," said Roseman.

Romero was charged Monday with attempted murder of a police officer.

A man who was with Romero in the white SUV was injured in the crash. He's in the hospital. When he gets out, he will face charges too.