LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – Nearly a month after the deadly incident where a 75-year-old grandmother from Las Cruces was shot and killed while holding knives, officials release the body cam footage.
The shooting happened Saturday, April 18 along the 800 block of Fir Avenue around 6:30 p.m.
At the time, Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) officials said the woman died at the scene, after being given lifesaving procedures.
The woman, identified as Amelia Baca, was suffering from dementia and had become agitated at others in the home when they called the police for help.
When the first officer arrived on the scene, he found Baca in the living room of the family’s home, holding two kitchen knives. Family members are heard pleading with the officer to “be careful” and “not shoot her.”
The officer clears both family members and then begins a brief exchange with Baca, yelling and cursing in English for Baca to drop the knives. For her part, Baca attempts to call the officer into the home, to show him something, speaking to him in Spanish.
Baca transfers both knives to her left hand and continues to beckon the officer into the home. As the officer continues to yell, Baca takes a half step toward him, where he then fires his sidearm, striking her.
During a conversation caught on an officer’s bodycam with one of the shooting investigators at the scene, an LCPD officer explains the initial dispatch was for a “behavioral issue call.”
He explains the call was for “an elderly woman with a knife. I guess she was chasing people, stabbing the floor. That’s what I remember hearing in the dispatch.”
Albitar Inoh, Baca’s Granddaughter, tells KTSM that Amelia had her good and bad days.
“There are times where she wouldn’t even, she would look at me, and I would say hey grandma it’s me, and she’d say oh yeah it’s you,” said Inoh.
As for the day of the shooting, both Inoh and her mother witnessed it all. “I was here so for me that was very painful to see what I saw, still you know not feeling to good very confused, shocked, sadness, madness,” Inoh shared.
The officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the Dona Ana County Officer-Involved Incident Task Force, which includes the New Mexico State Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State University Police Department, and the Las Cruces Police Department.