Albuquerque, NM – Bodycam footage captured the moment when a career criminal accused of threatening citizens with a firearm ignored police and attempted to pull a gun out of his waistband (video below).
Albuquerque police responded to the area of Copper Avenue and Eubank Boulevard after the agency received multiple 911 calls that a man was pointing a gun at traffic and citizens on Aug. 22, KOAT reported.
“There is a man on the corner of Copper and Eubank in front of the Payless Shoe Store sitting at the bus stop seat bench,” one caller said. “I am driving to work. He's waving a gun around.”
Police said that the area where the gunman was located was “heavily populated,” and also happened to be near a Walmart store that “was full of vehicles,” KOAT reported.
Bodycam footage showed the officers as they approached the suspect, who was lying on the ground next to the bus stop bench while motorists passed by just feet away.
He was later identified as 57-year-old Roger Schafer, KOAT reported.
The officers made their way out into the street, using their bodies to create a “wall” between the gunman and the public, KRQE reported.
They immediately ordered Schafer to put his hands into the air.
Several of the officers said they spotted a gun tucked into Schafer’s waistband, and they repeatedly ordered him to keep his hands away from it, KRQE reported.
“What are you doing with machine guns?” Schafer asked them as he brought himself into a sitting position and crossed his arms over his knees, the video showed.
“Lay on your stomach or force will be used against you!” one officer commanded.
“F--k you,” Schafer replied. “Shoot me then, mother--ker.”
One officer cautioned the gunman that force would be used against him if he moved his hands towards his waistband.
Schafer refused to lay on his stomach, and continued to tell the officers to “go f--k" themselves, the video showed.
He then got up off of the pavement and sat down on the bus stop bench, as he reached into the front of his waistband.
“I do what I want,” Schafer said, just before a barrage of gunfire rang out.
One of the rounds fired was from a less-lethal 40mm, which struck the gunman in his left knee, KRQE reported.
Three other officers discharged their duty weapons, striking Schafer 15 times.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators later determined that the weapon Schafer reached for was a Daisy semi-automatic Power Line 415 CO2 BB-gun, KRQE reported.
Albuquerque Police Lieutenant Scott Norris said that the gunman left police with no choice when he reached for the gun.
“He was given commands,” Lt. Norris told KRQE. “He decided to ignore those commands, and he made that overt act to grab that gun.”
“It is a deadly force situation. Officers responded in accordance with their training,” the lieutenant continued. “This person presented our officers and everybody involved – to include the general public – with a deadly force situation. The subject was given clear, concise verbal commands not to reach for his waistband.”
Schafer was no stranger to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).
In May, he was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after he threatened citizens with a hatchet in Nob Hill, KRQE reported.
He was also charged with assault on a peace officer during that incident, although it is unclear what ever became of that offense, according to KOAT.
Schafer ignored the officers’ commands during the May encounter, and flipped them off before they subdued him with a less-lethal beanbag round.
He pleaded no contest to the disorderly charge, and was sentenced to two days in jail, KRQE reported.
During two separate incidents in 2017, police transported him for mental health evaluations, according to the news outlet.
Schafer was arrested for shooting a BB gun at a business in 2016, KOAT reported.
In 2018, he was charged for drinking in public.
The investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing, and may take up to a year to complete, KRQE reported.
“We do not draw any conclusions as to whether the officers acted consistent with our policies until all facts are known and investigation is complete,” Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Greier said.
You can watch bodycam footage of the officers’ encounter with Schafer in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content: