Posted at: 07/08/2013 10:44 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Albuquerque police released new details Monday about the seconds leading up to the shooting death of a Vietnam War veteran by two APD officers.
The shooting happened Friday at a Northeast Albuquerque gas station. This is the second officer-involved shooting this year.
APD says Vincent Wood has been arrested 14 times. He’s also been transported to mental health facilities, including the VA in Albuquerque.
APD Chief Ray Schultz says there was at least one contact before Friday’s shooting when APD officers took two knives away from Wood after he pulled them out on people.
APD says there was also another incident involving knives in Colorado.
But Wood’s family says he was a veteran who battled the emotional wounds of war since his time in Vietnam.
"Seems there was a change in his demeanor, personality afterwards," said his half-brother Michael Allen in a phone interview from Florida.
Allen says Wood had problems but was not a violent person.
That’s a stark contrast to the man a security guard at a shopping center near San Mateo described to a 911 operator Friday night.
"There's a man at the bus stop with two big ol' butcher knives," the security guard said. "He's extremely dangerous."
Police say Wood first threatened two teens with hunting-type knives.
He then walked down the street to the Circle K near San Mateo and McLeod.
Rookie officer Jeff Bludworth, with APD since 2012, tried to stop Wood from going inside the store.
Chief Schultz motioned what Wood did next.
"As he comes around the rear of the police car and turns the knives slightly forward, healing slightly forward and he very quickly locks in on the officer and starts to approach him in a very quick manner," said Schultz.
Officer Katherine Wright, with APD since 2009, got to the scene. A crisis intervention trained officer was also arriving at the scene at the time of the shooting.
Both officers told Wood to drop the weapons repeatedly. Wood didn’t, and instead continued to move toward Bludworth.
Schultz says it appears Wright shot first. Both officers fired a total of nine rounds in about 60 seconds from the time officers confronted Wood.
Schultz says he doesn’t know how many times Wood was hit or where. He died at the hospital.
Allen questions why police didn’t use non-lethal force like a taser.
"I've seen cases where they just shock the hell out of people and just drop them or like I said shooting him, fine but did they have to shoot to kill him?" he asked.
When asked the same question, Schultz responded: "Everything happened very, very quickly. Mr. Wood was actively aggressively, closing distance with a deadly weapon to the officer."
Schultz added Wright felt Bludworth’s life was in danger.
But Allen says Wood seemed calm the last time he talked to him months ago. He said Wood did say he wanted to move back east after encountering racism in Albuquerque.
The multi-jurisdictional investigation continues. Both officers involved are on standard paid leave.
There is lapel camera video that captured the entire incident. KOB Eyewitness News 4 has requested the video.