Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Details of APD SWAT shooting revealed in search warrant

By Michael Gisick, Albuquerque Tribune

An Albuquerque SWAT officer fired a gunshot into a house where a knife-wielding man had barricaded himself and his daughter, according to a search warrant. Moments later, officers stormed the house and shot and killed the man.

The warrant, filed Monday, offers new details on the confrontation between police and Jay Martin Murphy, 42.

Murphy was killed June 5. Police say he threatened officers and his 14-year-old daughter with a 12- to 14-inch knife.

According to the warrant, police were called to 1608 Spence St. S.E. at about 1 p.m. June 5 after a report that Murphy was in his front yard with a knife.

A uniformed officer found Murphy driving through the neighborhood and followed. Murphy threw a beer bottle out the window of his truck, the warrant says.

Murphy then returned to his house on Spence Street and, after walking toward the front door, turned toward the officer while holding the knife. His son, Jay Murphy Jr., 19, exited the house and "advised the officer his dad was `harmless' and tried to calm the situation down," the warrant says.

As Murphy Jr. and the first officer continued talking, a second officer arrived and found Murphy Sr. standing on the porch. Murphy threw a beer bottle at the officer and started throwing other items from the porch before retreating behind a wrought-iron screen door.

Murphy's daughter, Mariah, tried to leave the house but Murphy grabbed her arm and told her, "You are not going anywhere," the warrant says. Before he closed the house's front door, officers also heard Murphy say, "Shoot me," "Shoot the knife" and "I see you guys with guns."

A SWAT team arrived at the scene and decided to force its way into the house after determining Murphy's daughter was in immediate danger.

"Prior to the entry into the residence, a SWAT officer observed Jay Sr. make an aggressive move toward Mariah and believed her life was in danger and fired one shot into the residence from an outside location," the warrant says.

As officers stormed the house, "Jay Sr. attempted to stab one of the officers" and was shot, according to the warrant. He was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police spokesman John Walsh said the officers involved in the shooting have been cleared to return to work after a standard, three-day paid leave.

The officers who shot Murphy have been identified as Josh Brown and Russ Carter. Both are 10-year veterans.

Asked whether it would be unusual for an officer to fire into a house where someone had been taken a hostage, Walsh said:

"There's no way to say whether it would be unusual or not. Every single scene is different and fluid and dependent on human events."

The mother of Murphy's two children told police that Murphy had a history of using crack cocaine and other drugs, according to the search warrant.

Murphy had faced several domestic violence charges, including aggravated assault on a household member and child abuse.

1 comment:

MsPeculiar the RA Diva said...

Jay did not have a knife on Mariah. Jay was shot and down prior to the police entering the house. When I got to the scene Mariah had been stripped of her clothes, Not offered any grief counseling and still had her fathers blood on her face. She was wearing a paper jumpsuit. Jay was Mentally ill. The police were just tired of him. That is all. His family members were followed and harassed for several months after the incident. Ever seen the aftermath of a snipers bullet? One shot. They handcuffed him after shooting him and drug him face down to an ambulance. Across the street. It started with a argument with his neighbors. They did not need to take his life.