The family of Juan James Cordova, who was shot and killed by a police officer while wielding a gun in the driveway of his Ventana Ranch home in 2021, has filed a lawsuit against the officer and the city of Albuquerque.
Albuquerque Police Department responded to a mental health emergency on April 16, 2021, in the 1000 block of Coyote Canyon NW after Cordova’s girlfriend called 911 saying Cordova shot a gun in their home.
Following a standoff with police, officer Bryce Willsey shot Cordova once in the chest. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2nd Judical Court on July 14, says Cordova was suffering from a mental health episode and Willsey used excessive force.
In a news release after the shooting, APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos wrote “Officer Willsey said he saw Cordova point the gun in the direction of the officers to the north and then the officers to the west. At this time, Officer Willsey said he believed the officers, along with the residents, were in danger and he fired his rifle one time.”
APD released lapel camera footage and a recording from a Ring home security camera in June that shows the interaction with Cordova.
“Put your hands up! Drop the weapon!” an officer said.
“I got a 45! 45! Shoot! shoot!” Cordova said.
“We don’t want to hurt you, Juan,” an officer responded.
“Shoot! Shoot!” Cordova yells before Willsey opened fire, hitting him in the chest.
Willsey has been involved in four other incidents in which APD officers fatally shot people since joining the department in 2015.
Willsey was one of three officers involved in the shooting of John Withers on April 6 this year.
In January 2018, Willsey was one of four officers who shot Daniel Saavedra Arrola; he was one of five officers who shot Jason Scott Perez in December 2019; and he was one of two officers who shot Orlando Abeyta in January 2020.