An Albuquerque police officer shot and critically wounded a fellow officer during an undercover narcotics bust at a fast food franchise parking lot at around mid-day on Friday, police said.
Police would not release additional details of the shooting or of the nature of the officer’s injuries.
“Both officers involved were working in a plain clothes, undercover capacity and have been with the department for many years,” said Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said, adding that two suspects were arrested.
The incident comes after a federal investigation concluded the police department in the mid-sized U.S. city in New Mexico used excessive, even deadly, force against passive civilians.
In October of last year, Albuquerque and the U.S. Justice Department announced an agreement for the city’s police department to undergo reform and be monitored for use of excessive force.
Another police officer was shot during a traffic stop on Jan. 3. On Dec. 15, an Albuquerque police officer accidentally shot a bystander when his weapon discharged as he climbed through a window during a burglary investigation.
The officer in Friday’s underwent surgery at University of New Mexico Hospital, Espinoza said. A second undercover officer was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries. She said she did not know the cause of the injuries.
Wallace Anderson, who was inside the restaurant at the time of the shooting, told broadcaster KOB 4 he saw two unmarked cars pull up.
“They surrounded this vehicle so it couldn’t back up and escape. At that point, the shots happened and a guy was dragged to the pavement,” Anderson said.
(Reporting by Joseph J. Kolb in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Editing by Robert Birsel)