Man who shot 3 officers in NM had 'cop killer' tattoo

Chief Allen Banks identified the gunman as Christopher Chase, 35, who died after crashing a stolen police car

Associated Press

ALBQUERQUE, N.M. — A man who wounded four Albuquerque law enforcement officers during a high-speed chase through the city had a tattoo labeled "cop killer," authorities said Sunday.

Albuquerque Police Chief Allen Banks identified the gunman as 35-year-old Christopher Chase, who died after crashing a stolen police car Saturday at a gasoline station.

Albuquerque television station KOAT reported that Chase was armed with an assault rifle.

Three Albuquerque police officers and a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy were wounded during the shooting spree. Police declined to identify the three officers or to provide many details of their injuries, but one remains hospitalized.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy Robin Hopkins is in the intensive care unit of an Albuquerque hospital, according to Sheriff Dan Houston. She had worked for the law enforcement agency since 1998.

Banks said Chase stole a police car after an officer took cover after coming under fire.

Witnesses said Chase told them to call police and "he would be waiting for them," Banks said at a news conference, according to video posted on the website of KOB-TV.

Chase was dressed in body armor, camouflage clothing and wore a black mask.

"The subject called and waited for police. I call it a senseless act, a coward's act," Banks said when asked if the shooting was an ambush.

He said the motive for the shooting remains under investigation.

Authorities declined to say whether Chase died from shots fired by police and said that the cause of death would be determined by the Office of the Medical Examiner.

Banks said Chase had a criminal record but police continue to investigate his background.

Officials said it's uncertain how many shots were fired.

Investigators searched Chase's house and initially thought it had bobby traps, but those turned out to be fake.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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