New Mexico State Police identified the suspect killed in a shootout with Albuquerque Police Department near Spain and Eubank last month to be John Withers, 20, of Albuquerque.
The April 6 incident began with a report of a carjacking. At about 6:30 p.m., APD responded to a report of an armed carjacking at the Chateau Apartments, 6101 Osuna Road NE. “The victim reported a male forced him out of his green BMW at gunpoint and stole his vehicle,” NMSP Officer Ray Wilson wrote in a press release this week. APD officers then spotted the vehicle near Academy and McKinney and pursued.
Withers drove erratically, ran red lights and drove on the wrong side of the road during the pursuit, according to the report. As a result, marked APD units withdrew from the chase, and APD detectives, in unmarked cars, took over.
Detectives followed Withers to Osuna, east of Wyoming, where he parked the stolen car and fled. The detectives followed Withers down a dirt path and into a nearby concrete arroyo. Detectives and uniformed officers caught up to Withers, who was holding a handgun; officers commanded Withers to drop the gun, but instead he ran, at one point turning and firing shots at the officers. One of the detectives returned fire, which struck Withers.
Withers turned and ran again, according to the report, and stopped again to turn toward officers with a hand movement indicating he was going to shoot again. A uniformed APD officer and another detective both fired, again striking Withers. Officers then provided medical care and called for an ambulance; however, Withers was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gilbert Gallegos, APD director of communications, said the officers involved in the shooting were Greg Reams, Bryce Willsey and Shay Babcock.
The NMSP took over the investigation April 8 because of a conflict of interest. Gallegos said Babcock is the son of Detective Tod Babcock, acting sergeant for the Multi-Agency Task Force, which typically investigates officer-involved shootings.
The incident remains under investigation by the NMSP.