‘It’s on’: Bank robbery suspect shot at officers during pursuit that ended with fatal Smith’s shooting

David Lynch
June 28, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/its-on-bank-robbery-suspect-shot-at-officer-during-pursuit-that-ended-with-fatal-smiths-shooting/4967947/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Police say concern for the public and a chaotic car pursuit involving gunfire factored into an APD officer’s decision to fire rounds at a chronic bank robbery suspect earlier this month in southeast Albuquerque.

47-year-old Richard Rivera – who had a criminal history dating back to 1995 – died when a veteran APD officer shot at him in the parking lot of Smith’s at Coal and Yale on June 16, APD Lt. Ray Del Greco said at a Thursday morning press conference.

It was the culmination of a vehicle pursuit that began when Rivera and 39-year-old Jennifer Rael held up a Verizon store in northeast Albuquerque—the pair’s third armed robbery in less than a week, Del Greco said.

Del Greco said police were able to track the pair, in a stolen U-Haul van, not far from where the Verizon store is located. Rael told investigators the pursuit began after Rivera turned to her and said “It’s on” before pulling out a firearm.

The subsequent chase involved Rivera firing so many rounds at officers that Rael told investigators “she couldn’t keep count,” Del Greco said.

When a spike strip deployed by APD failed to stop the van, they attempted two pit maneuvers. After the first attempt, lapel video shows the officer firing five rounds at the van.

The pursuit continued briefly before the van was finally stopped at the Smith’s parking lot, after the third pit maneuver. The officer can be seen in lapel video leaving his cruiser, pursuing Rivera on foot while yelling at him to stop and then firing six shots as Rivera approached the Smith’s entrance.

Surveillance camera footage shows Rivera turning back to look at the officer and reaching for his right hip before the shots are fired.

“He was afraid Mr. Rivera was going to either shoot him, an innocent bystander in the parking lot or someone inside the Smith’s store,” Del Greco said, adding multiple witnesses told investigators they heard Rivera say twice that he had a gun.

Rivera died at the scene after attempts by officers to revive him were unsuccessful. Rael, meanwhile, was taken into custody.

Police later searched the van, where Del Greco said they found a cell phone taken from the earlier Verizon store robbery, a gun legally bought by Rael for Rivera earlier in the month, and empty shell casings.

 

 

 

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UNM provost to leave for Georgia Tech; had briefly served as president

David Lynch
June 28, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/unm-provost-to-leave-for-georgia-tech-had-briefly-served-as-president/4968055/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The administrator responsible for helping to navigate the University of New Mexico through some turbulent waters while serving as president has landed another gig.

Chaouki Abdallah will be returning to his alma mater of Georgia Tech as the executive vice president for research later this summer. He recently was at the forefront of UNM’s administrative affairs for over a year while the university sought a new permanent president—first as the acting president, then interim before the board of regents officially recognized him as the university’s 22nd presidentContinue reading →

Santa Fe hires familiar face as city’s next police chief

David Lynch
June 26, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/santa-fe-hires-familiar-face-as-citys-next-police-chief/4964933/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The state’s capital city has announced the hiring of its next permanent police chief, and it follows somewhat in the footsteps of the state’s biggest city.

Santa Fe city officials have named Andrew Padilla as its police department’s next leader. He had been holding down the position in an interim capacity since March, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican—not long after Mayor Alan Webber took office.

Padilla is New Mexico born-and-bred, according to a city release, having grown up in Española before embarking on an 18-year policing career. Continue reading →

Farmington Fuel revelingin CMWS experience

Note: This story was originally published in the Farmington Daily Times, and can be viewed here. Photo by Matt Hollinshead of the Daily Times. 

FARMINGTON – The Farmington Fuel’s first-ever Connie Mack World Series experience is quickly becoming one for the ages.

Just like it did during its City Tournament championship run, the Fuel continues to battle — and thrive — on the big stage.

And after winning its CMWS debut, a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Colton Nighthawks on Monday night at Ricketts Park, this team looks to keep pushing its limits.

But even if they play the iconic event for each of the next 14 years, the chances are slim that they would win again like they did Monday night at Ricketts Park.

“This team, they just battle through anything,” said Fuel pitcher Dawson Merryman, who threw 3 2/3 critical innings in relief. “They believe they can do it. They want to be here, and they want to do it.”

Down 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Fuel looked for some magic. After Cade Acrey and Danny Carpenter both reached base to start the rally, the Fuel seized its chance.

Cameron Stephenson put the ball in play for Farmington with runners on first and second, but the Nighthawks’ third baseman threw the ball to a Nighthawk-less first base.

The crowd erupted as the ball rolled away, and Carpenter fed off that atmosphere and energy from the crowd as he dashed home all the way from first.

“It’s just the fans and the crowd, the experience of being here is amazing. I’ve never experienced something like this, it’s just an atmosphere that’s unexplainable,” Merryman said.

The Fuel last played on July 21, when it beat Flat Bill in the City Tournament finals to earn its golden ticket to the CMWS.

With its first-ever CMWS win in the books, they hope more wins soon follow.

“We know we have an uphill battle, but we have a lot of great kids,” coach Kim Carpenter said. “We have a lot of heart, so we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to fight as hard we as can.”

David Lynch is a digital producer at KOB4 in Albuquerque. He can be reached via Twitter at @RealDavidLynch.

 

 

Connie Mack World Series coverage (Video)

A video package shot for the Farmington Daily Times at the Connie Mack World Series, between D-BAT and Lamorinda.

https://uw-media.daily-times.com/embed/video/37373235?placement=snow-embed

 

Another package shot for the Daily Times, for a game between the Dallas Tigers and hometown Farmington Fuel.

https://uw-media.daily-times.com/embed/video/37374195?placement=snow-embed

 

 

Roswell’s first (human) visitors

71 years after a UFO allegedly landed in southeast New Mexico – instantly cementing the town of Roswell as a pop culture monument and Mecca to UFO enthusiasts – the memorialized crash site finally held its first public tour.

This is the story of that tour, and the five strangers who came from vastly different places and backgrounds to be there, united and joined by their belief.

For the full print story, published in the Albuquerque Journal, click here or here.

A Christmas miracle 21 years in the making

David Lynch
December 25, 2017
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/a-christmas-miracle-21-years-in-the-making/4720778/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but Heather Trujillo – then Heather Dudley – says she didn’t have much of a choice at all.

The year was 1994, and the 20-year-old was already raising a young boy.

“I was living in a little house in an alley behind someone else’s houses,” she said.

Raising two kids just two years into adulthood would be an undertaking for any parent, which is why when Deena was born, plans were already in motion for her to be adopted by a loving family. Continue reading →

Several children in CYFD custody, child abductor arrested after being discovered at northern NM compound

David Lynch
August 4, 2018

Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/several-children-in-cyfd-custody-after-being-discovered-at-northern-new-mexico-compound/5017838/

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Several children, ranging in age from 1 to 15, are in custody of the Children, Youth and Families Department after Taos County deputies discovered them among haggard conditions at a makeshift “compound” while executing a search warrant Friday, according to the Taos County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Three women “believed to be the children’s mothers” were also found at the Amalia, New Mexico compound surrounded by tires, the post by TCSO states. Continue reading →

Review: In ‘Three Identical Strangers,’ you only think you know what you’re in for

We typically enter documentaries in a different mindset, a different approach than with typical Hollywood fare.

Familiarity bypasses anticipation not by way of absent excitement, but rather because we expect to delve deeper into a subject we’re already at least somewhat familiar with. Earlier this year, the melancholic “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” underwent that route to excellent ends.

“Three Identical Strangers,” however, defies that expectation. If you know this story, chances are you only know how it begins. As has become customary in the age of instant gratification and mistaking 280 characters on Twitter for a news story, we rarely follow up on the flavor of the 5-minute trend – and that’s where the film seizes its chance to captivate. Continue reading →