Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Shooter Racked Up 50 Arrests.(Final)

Byline: Chris Ramirez, Chris Vogel and Barbara Chavez Journal Staff Writers

Records Show History of Mental Illness

The man who shot and seriously wounded an Albuquerque police sergeant Monday was an indigent with mental health problems and numerous felony arrests, police said Tuesday.

Duc Mihn Pham remained on city streets, however, because judges on multiple occasions declared him incompetent to stand trial and determined him to be nonviolent.

"Obviously he was a danger to the community ... and a danger to police," said police Chief Gil Gallegos at a news conference Tuesday.

During a competency evaluation after he was picked up for throwing rocks at a police station, Pham said, "The police eat people ... I know ... I stop them."

Police say they now are investigating Pham's medical background to find out if he was mentally ill when he shot police Sgt. Carol Oleksak with her own gun after pushing her to the ground and kicking her.

Oleksak, 49, remained in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital on Tuesday, Gallegos said. She underwent four hours of surgery for gunshot wounds to her head and torso, then was placed in intensive care. …

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