Albuquerque police say they wounded a 64-year-old man during a traffic stop after he attempted unsuccessfully to commit “suicide by cop.”
Robert Garcia was pulled over at 3 a.m. on Nov. 15 for driving erratically.
In a newly released video from a lapel camera, police tell Garcia to drop a pistol he was carrying nine times.
"Put the gun down, sir!" Officer Peter Romero shouts. "Put your gun down, sir! Put the freakin' gun down!"
Garcia walks forward, aiming the gun, and Romero fires one shot. Garcia is hit in the stomach and collapses.
Even when he was on the ground, Romero says Garcia was still reaching for his gun.
Police said a note found in Garcia’s back pocket read, "Thank you officer.”
He was taken to an area hospital where he admitted to provoking the cop in order to get shot. He later apologized to Romero when he was being questioned.
At the time of the incident, Garcia was under investigation for child sexual abuse by New Mexico State Police, according to the New York Daily News. He is charged with molesting a 6-year-old in Taos County.
KOAT reported that Garcia’s family said he had been acting suicidal.
Albuquerque PD praised Romero for doing the right thing.
"Officer Romero was just doing his job" Albuquerque police chief Allen Banks said. "It's nothing we look forward to…but (Garcia) made his choice that night of what he wanted to do and put that officer in that position."