Fort Morgan, CO – The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has released dashcam footage that captured the moment a double homicide suspect barreled out of a vehicle with a knife in his hand (video below).
Dustin Brian Montano, 31, was accused of fatally stabbing his aunt, 53-year-old Desert Storm veteran Deborah Martinez, and his cousin, 17-year-old Irisa Montano, at their Albuquerque, New Mexico home on May 24, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
According to Albuquerque police, Montano murdered the mother and daughter after Martinez refused to allow him to establish a marijuana distribution business out of her home, where he had been residing for two months, The Denver Post reported.
Montano then sent text messages to other relatives in Sterling, a community north of Fort Morgan, and told them he was going to murder them as well, Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone said in a news release, according to The Denver Post.
Police in New Mexico told the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office that Montano fled in a stolen red Volkswagen Jetta, and that he was possibly suicidal and believed to be armed, Sheriff Crone said.
At approximately 7:38 a.m., the stolen Jetta was spotted in the Fort Morgan Walmart parking lot.
Sheriff Crone and Morgan County Undersheriff Dave Martin drove to the store in unmarked patrol vehicles, and waited nearby for Montano to return to the Jetta.
“I’ve got suspect approaching his vehicle right now,” one of the law enforcement officers at the scene radioed, the dashcam footage showed. “I’m getting ready to roll up here.”
“I’m here with you,” another officer said, as he drove past the front of the store towards the suspect vehicle.
Sheriff Crone, Undersheriff Martin, one deputy and two Colorado State Patrol troopers quickly converged on the vehicle, and parked around it to cut off any escape routes, The Denver Post reported.
Dashcam footage showed the open driver’s door of the Jetta, as the officers ordered Montano not to move.
“The suspect slammed the door and at that point Sheriff Crone felt the suspect would start the car and ram his patrol vehicle in an attempt to get out,” the department said in the news release, according to The Denver Post.
A second later, the driver’s door “suddenly flew open,” Sheriff Crone explained.
The officers said they believed Montano was prepared to fight or to run, based on the force he used to shove the door open.
The suspect then raised his right hand, and the officers said they initially believed he was holding a handgun.
Undersheriff Martin said Montano looked him straight in the eyes, and that he believed the suspect planned to kill him.
Sheriff Crone and Undersheriff Martin both opened fire, and Montano collapsed onto the ground.
The officers fired eight rounds, and Montano was hit seven times in the leg, arm, and torso, The Denver Post reported.
Investigators determined that Montano actually had a knife in his hand as opposed to a gun, and said the weapon was believed to be the same knife he used to murder his cousin and aunt.
“Why didn’t you just shoot me in the [expletive] head?” Montano yelled at the officers, according to the news outlet. “Just kill me.”
Montano was rushed to the hospital, where 150 pints of blood was wasted on him during the effort to save his life.
He was pronounced dead the following day.
On Sep. 7, Morgan County District Attorney Brittny Lewton determined that the officers’ use of deadly force was justified.
Sheriff Crone said that he and the undersheriff had a combined 50 years of law enforcement experience, and that they had been involved in numerous “armed confrontations” during their careers.
Sheriff Crone said he used deadly force in 1978 when he was stabbed by a suspect, but that he and Undersheriff Martin had otherwise never resorted to such measures until their encounter with Montano.
“When confronting a man who was a suspect in a homicide, was presumably armed and dangerous, and in a conscious effort to disregard commands and come out of the car aggressively with a knife [which we initially saw as a handgun], the suspect left us with little choice,” Sheriff Montano said.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Montano also fatally stabbed another man during a fight in Austin when he was 18 years old.
He was convicted of manslaughter, and served ten years in prison.
You can watch video of the incident below: