New Mexico Cops Shoot and Kill Mentally Ill Homeless Man
A man with a history of mental illness and living on the streets was shot and killed by Albuquerque police officers after reaching for a BB gun in his waistband.
The shooting was captured on police-worn body camera and shows what is likely a suicide-by-cop.
"Lay on your stomach or force will be used against you," a cop yelled at Roger Schafer as he laid on his back at a bus stop.
"F_ck you," responded Schafer. "Shoot me then."
The 57-year-old man then lifted himself up to the bench and reached into his waistband when he was shot. The first bullet that struck him as a rubber "less lethal" bullet but that was followed by a real bullet less than a second later, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
It was only five months ago that he had been shot by another rubber bullet.
Schafer’s criminal history included misdemeanors indicative of living on the streets and suffering from mental health issues. He was cited for criminal trespass and urinating in public in 2015 and 2016, and was arrested for firing a BB gun because he “wanted to kill pigeons for revenge.” His police contacts also include being transported for a mental health evaluation.
About five months ago, officers shot him with the less lethal 40 mm rubber bullet after he was reported wandering around Nob Hill armed with an ax and threatening customers at Kelly’s Pub.
In court documents, Schafer listed his address as the Good Shepherd Center homeless shelter, and an APD spokesman said investigators had a hard time finding his next of kin.
Rachel Biggs, the policy director for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless and a member of APD Forward, said the advocacy coalition has some general concerns about the shooting, but it is waiting to see the results of the use of force investigation.
The incident took place on August 22 at about 3 p.m. after witnesses called police to report that a man was pointing a handgun towards traffic. The shooting is still under investigation to determine whether the shooting was justified.