New Mexico Cops Release Details on Shootout With Suspect at Casino Lot

Posted on: June 16, 2024, 07:52h. 

Last updated on: June 17, 2024, 10:11h.

A convict fired two shots at officers before they returned gunfire while at a lot at Sandia Resort & Casino, according to new details from New Mexico authorities.

Sandia Resort & Casino
The Sandia Resort & Casino, pictured above. A man was arrested after a shootout with police at a casino lot. (Image: TripAdvisor)

The alleged shooter, Nicolas Roach, 35, was wounded in the back, jaw, and right arm during the April 30 standoff, Albuquerque TV station KOAT reported.

Roach suffered critical injuries and was hospitalized for 10 days before being booked at a local jail.

None of the four Albuquerque Police Department (APD) officers was injured, according to initial reports.

Before the shootout, officers had been on the lookout for Roach for days. Shortly before the confrontation, they saw a suspicious vehicle and checked the license plate. It had been reported stolen.

A recently released APD video showed Roach was driving the stolen Hyundai south of the casino. Roach fled upon seeing the officers, eventually driving into the casino lot, police said.

He jumped out of the Hyundai and entered another vehicle. Roach refused to surrender and started to drive away but officers were able to apply a grappler onto the vehicle’s tire, stopping it.

That was followed by the exchange of gunfire.

We knew he had warrants, and we knew the general area he operated in,” APD Commander Kyle Hartsock was quoted by KOAT about the apprehension. “It was at least several days that detectives working in specific operation plans and different hours of the day had been trying to locate him.”

Roach was wanted on a warrant for violating probation and was a known car thief, police said.

Two Women in Vehicle

Police spotted two women in the stopped SUV that Roach had been driving. The women exited the vehicle and surrendered in the parking lot. Amanda Hand, 34, was charged with auto theft, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The second woman apprehended by police wasn’t identified.

Police said they located a 45-caliber gun in the SUV that Roach used in the shootout. Officers additionally found suspected methamphetamine (meth) and tools known to be used for auto theft in the SUV, according to New Mexico TV station KRQE.

Roach will be charged and face prosecution in a local court. He previously served time in prison, according to the Journal.

The Pueblo of Sandia own and operate the tribal gaming property located in Albuquerque.

Stronger Penalties Needed

In response to the incident, APD Chief Harold Medina announced he would like the state to enact stronger penalties for car theft.

“We need … assistance from … legislative bodies to make sure that individuals who are committing auto theft in order to use that motor vehicle to go commit other crimes have to be held to a higher level,” Medina told KOAT.