Las Cruces, NM – The family of a 75-year-old woman who was fatally shot while advancing on a Las Cruces police officer while holding two large knives is demanding the officer be charged with murder (video below).
An attorney representing the family of 75-year-old Amelia Baca said they also plan to sue the city and the police department over the ordeal, KXXV reported.
“Let me be blunt,” attorney Sam Bregman told reporters on May 12. “Amelia Baca was executed by the Las Cruces Police Department.”
“As a result of this senseless tragedy, the Baca family is respectfully demanding that the district attorney charge this officer with murder,” Bregman added, according to the Las Cruces Sun News. “You can’t walk up to someone’s front door when they’re having a mental health crisis … and shoot them after yelling at them for 38 seconds.”
The Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) released bodycam footage of the April 16 encounter just days before Bregman held the press conference calling for the officer’s arrest, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
The incident occurred at a residence located in the 800-block of Fir Avenue the evening of April 16 after Baca’s daughter called 911 to report her mother was armed with a knife and threatened to kill her, according to audio recordings.
“I really need an officer or an ambulance or someone because my mother is getting really aggressive,” Baca’s daughter told the 911 dispatcher. “I’m hiding in a room because she’s threatening to kill me.”
She noted that Baca suffered from a form of dementia and that she was “stabbing the floor” with a knife, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
It is unknown how much information provided by Baca’s daughter was relayed to the officer before he arrived at the residence.
Bodycam footage showed the officer approaching the home and motioning for Baca’s daughter and granddaughter, Albitar Inoh, to come outside, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
“Please be very careful with her,” Inoh warned as she passed by him.
As the two women moved out of the camera’s view, Baca could be seen standing just inside the doorway armed with two knives, the video showed.
The officer immediately drew his duty pistol and repeatedly ordered her to drop her weapons.
He issued those commands no less than 16 times, but Baca refused to comply, the video showed.
She ultimately stepped towards the officer with the knives in her hands, at which point the officer fired two shots.
Baca collapsed to the ground and was dragged out of the home by another officer, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
She succumbed to her wounds at the scene.
Police subsequently found a girl hiding inside a bedroom in the home, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
The LCPD officer who shot Baca has not been identified because he has not been charged with a crime, according to police.
The officer has been with the department for nine years, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
He has received at least 70 hours of crisis intervention training during his career, according to the LCPD.
The multiagency Dona Ana County Officer-Involved Incident Task Force is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:
WARNING: GRAPHIC ⚠️ A 75-year-old woman suffering dementia was shot and killed by a police officer in New Mexico pic.twitter.com/MxZwCkqxA5
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) May 12, 2022