An undercover Albuquerque, New Mexico, police officer was shot by a fellow undercover officer during a narcotics operation on Friday.
"Both officers involved were working in plain clothes and in an undercover capacity. Both officers have been with the department for many years," Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden said. "There's many questions that still need to be answered and right now I just don't have the answers to those questions."
The officer who was shot did not have a bulletproof vest on, reports KOAT. He is being treated at University of New Mexico Hospital.
Eden said the officer’s condition is critical.
The narcotics operation took place near a busy intersection on the southeast side of Albuquerque. Unmarked police cars surrounded a car in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant and witnesses claim to have heard a series of gunshots before dozens of officers surrounded the area, reports ABC News.
"They told us we couldn't leave because it was a crime scene now," said Wallace Anderson, 68, who was in the restaurant having coffee with friends at the time of the operation.
Anderson said he heard at least four gunshots.
Two suspects were arrested in the drug bust.
Officers have been visiting their injured comrade in the hospital. The officer responsible for the shooting, reportedly a leader in the department, is not at the hospital but is said to be supported by his fellow officers.
A second undercover officer was also injured during the operation. No further details on her status have been reported.
“This is a tragic day for our city and for the department. This is not a phone call any family wants to get or that you ever want to get as a mayor. So we're just asking our community to do several things. Number one, keep the officer in your prayers and keep the entire department in your prayers. These men and women go out every day, they risk their lives, and this is another example, an all too frequent example of how dangerous police work can be,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry.
This is the second time an Albuquerque police officer has been shot in the past week. Officer Lou Golson was shot during a routine DUI traffic stop on Jan. 3. A manhunt ensued for the shooter, and suspect Christopher Cook was arrested and charged.