- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Authorities in New Mexico have announced that the two men who were shot by police in separate incidents within four days of each other last month were each holding a gun when they died.

Albuquerque Police Lt. Hollie Anderson of the Violent Crimes Division released details on the fatal shooting of Matthew Montoya, 52, in a neighborhood driveway on Oct. 12 and the shooting of Jason Edward Galliart at a motel on Oct. 16, The Albuquerque Journal reported.

Police say the first shooting began after Montoya allegedly shot his ex-wife and the mother of his 8-year-old daughter as she was leaving Mass at a chapel in Albuquerque around 8:45 a.m.

Eva Montoya, 50, had previously said she was afraid he was going to kill her and filed a restraining order against him last year. But court documents show in August that the two agreed to dismiss the restraining order and worked out a custody agreement.

Detectives used emergency GPS services to find Matthew Montoya at an acquaintance’s home after he attempted to pick up his daughter. The school was aware of his issues with his ex-wife and would not allow him to.

Multiple authorities, including a sergeant, an officer and three detectives responded to the scene. Police say Montoya pointed a gun at the officers and they fired at him, striking him in the head. He died at the scene.

Anderson did not identify the authorities by name. Montoya’s older daughter declined to comment and asked for privacy.

The second shooting happened four days later when an Imperial Inn motel employee reported around 7 a.m. that someone had shot through the window of one of the rooms.

Arriving officers heard shots and called the SWAT team to the scene who attempted crisis negotiation, Anderson said, adding that at one point his girlfriend allegedly told investigators that Galliart told her officers were not going to take him alive.

SWAT Officers Aaron Engh and Paul Durham shot at 41-year-old Galliart, who was struck in the chest, Anderson said, adding that Galliart then shot himself. His death was ruled a suicide.

Engh has been with the Albuquerque Police Department since 2006 and was involved in one prior shooting. Durham has been with the department since 2011 and has been involved in one prior shooting.

“He has already told us what he’s going to do and he’s demonstrated the ability to do that with continuing to fire shots at the officers and exiting,” Anderson said. “So it was one of those very quick decisions that the tactical officers had to make.”

The status of the officers involved in both shootings was not immediately known.

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