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Footage of the shooting that killed Alamogordo police Officer Clint Corvinus and wanted fugitive Joseph Moreno last September was released by the New Mexico District Attorney’s Office Thursday afternoon. District Attorney John Sugg said he met with Corvinus’ and Moreno’s family to go over the findings with them as the investigation into the shooting is now complete. Lapel video from Officer Christopher Welch, who was on patrol with Corvinus the day of the incident, was shown during a press conference. “We have determined two things. First, that Officer Clint Corvinus was shot and killed by Joseph Moreno and second, that Officer Christopher Welch was justified in shooting Joseph Moreno,” Sugg said. On Sept. 2 Welch was on the final stages of the field office training. He had been with the Alamogordo Police Department for 10 months, according to police.
Corvinus was his field-training officer, Sugg said. “At that point in time it was called the shadow phase. During the shadow phase, Officer Welch takes over as the primary officer, Officer Corvinus basically just supervises, makes sure that Officer Welch is doing everything correctly,” Sugg said. The two officers headed out on patrols and came across Moreno, who was also known as “Diablo,” Sugg said. Corvinus remembered from a previous briefing that Moreno had several warrants for his arrest. The day of the shooting, Welch, who was driving the patrol car, tried to approach Moreno once the warrants were verified. Suggs said Moreno immediately fled on foot. The officers got out of the car and began chasing Moreno. In the video, the officers can be heard screaming, “Put your hands in the air, right now. Stop!” Police said that as Moreno was running away, he reached inside the bag and grabbed a .357-caliber revolver and pointed it toward the officers.
The video shows the moment when Officer Welch shoots Moreno after several attempts to get him to drop the revolver. “Officer Welch shot two times, one of those hit Moreno in the hip. Moreno then fell to the ground. When he fell to the ground, he was facing officers. He fired five times. One of those shots hit Officer Corvinus,” Sugg said. Police said they later found that the serial number on the weapon had unlawfully been removed. The video shows Moreno getting up, even after being shot, and continuing to run away from the officers with the gun still in hand. Welch pursues him, firing several shots and eventually killing him. As previously reported, police said Corvinus had been behind Welch and had never been in the direct line of fire. Welch didn’t know Corvinus had been shot until after Moreno had been subdued, police said. Welch recovered Moreno’s firearm, and officers later discovered 10 unfired hollow point bullets and a pair of handcuffs in the bag that Moreno was carrying, police said.
Police said Moreno had outstanding warrants for possession of a controlled substance, driving with a suspended driver’s license and two counts of burglary. In the past, Moreno has been arrested for an armed robbery, aggravated burglary, multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance, several counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, police said. Welch and other officers tried to give Corvinus CPR, and he was then taken to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, where he died. That portion of the video was left out by request of the family, Suggs said. He was a four-year veteran with the Alamogordo Police Department. Authorities said he is survived by his parents, his girlfriend and an 8-year-old daughter.
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