Shot New Mexico Deputy Still in Critical Condition

Oct. 30, 2013
Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy Robin Hopkins and three Albuquerque officers were shot Saturday.

All three Albuquerque police officers shot in Saturday's rampage were veterans of the department, with each serving nine to 10 years on the force.

At least two have received honors for actions while in uniform.

Police released their names Monday afternoon, but little other information. They are officers Daniel Morales, who remains hospitalized, and Eric Martinez and Matthew Hannum, who are home recovering from less severe wounds.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy Robin Hopkins remains in University of New Mexico Hospital in critical condition.

The four were among multiple potential targets when Christopher Chase, who had "cop killer" tattooed across his knuckles, stole an APD cruiser and tore through the South and North Valleys firing at officers who gave chase.

Chase, 35, who was waiting for officers in body armor and camouflage with an assault-style rifle at Broadway and Iron, was found dead after he crashed the APD cruiser he'd stolen into a gas station near Fourth and Montano.

Officers had fired on Chase, but it's not clear yet how he died.

Morales, a 10-year veteran, was still hospitalized Monday night with a lower body injury, according to APD spokeswoman Tasia Martinez.

Hannum was recognized by Gov. Susana Martinez and Mayor Richard Berry for responding to a 2011 natural gas crisis in northern New Mexico, and Eric Martinez was recognized with a medal of outstanding service in 2010.

It may not have been the first time Martinez was injured in the line of duty. Media reports in 2009 said an APD officer Eric Martinez suffered shotgun wounds to his leg in a drive-by shooting.

Meanwhile, Hopkins, 45, has undergone multiple surgeries and is expected to remain hospitalized for the next 30 days, according to Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston.

"I met with her this morning and she advised me that the doctors had advised her of that," Houston said in a telephone interview on Monday evening. "She was asking for visitation to be limited just to her family for a couple of days, and was concerned (about not) offending people who wanted to come see her," Houston said.

Houston said Hopkins, a 15-year veteran, is married and has two sons, one who is almost 2 and another in his early 20s.

"I got to meet with her this morning with another deputy and she is very upbeat and positive, but very aware of the seriousness of her injury," Houston said.

He said her injury was a "very serious wound that did a lot of damage" to her left upper leg, and Houston said that she has received visits from her immediate family.

"She is very strong, certainly ... (it's) amazing to me that she is just one of those kind of deputies that is very likeable, popular, well thought of by the citizens that she interacts with and her fellow deputies," he said.

He said her patrol duties have taken her to the North Valley, the East Mountains and the village of Los Ranchos, where community members have started a trust for her.

Local residents who heard about the shooting -- including a class of elementary school students Hopkins had worked with -- have bombarded the hospital with flowers, cards, and get-well gifts for Hopkins.

The sheriff's union is offering the use of its office at 423 Sixth NW as a place to store gifts for Hopkins until she is healthy enough to enjoy them, said Kyle Hartsock, president of the Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff's Association.

No hints of violence

A few more details have emerged about Christopher Alan Chase, the gunman in Saturday's rampage.

Chase, who was born in Maryland, had no violent crimes in local court records. His criminal record includes a 2004 indictment on three counts of embezzlement, which involved him converting Giant Gas Station money orders valued at more than $2,500 to his own use, court records show.

Besides the "cop killer" tattoo, he also has a tattoo of a demon with two guns on his back, tattoos of joker cards on his left and right arms, a Chinese character on his neck and a tattoo of a juggalo, associated with rap group Insane Clown Posse, on his abdomen.

He has lived, according to public records, in the 400 block of Arno SE, the 8030 block of Guadalupe NW, the 13800 block of Vidal Place NE and, most recently, in the 800 block of Walter SE.

It was not clear what brought or connected Chase to New Mexico. His Social Security number was issued in New York, according to public documents.

How to help

The village of Los Ranchos has set up an account for Deputy Robin Hopkins and her family. Donations can be made at any Bank of America branch in New Mexico simply by asking for the Los Ranchos Community Trust for Deputy Hopkins. A hundred percent of all donations will be given to Deputy Hopkins and her family.

Copyright 2013 - Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

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