Police and local media reports suggest the shooting might not be so controversial, as the slain suspect allegedly fired first and wore body armor.
Police responded to a suspicious criminal activity call shortly before 5 p.m. and encountered two men, according to a statement from Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier. One of the men was taken into custody, while the second man fled on foot and shot at officers, the statement said.
"As officers searched for him, he fired an unknown number of rounds at the officers and continued to flee," the statement said, and when police found him a second time, "this suspect again fired at officers, and at least one officer returned fire mortally wounding the offender.
It's unclear how many officers fired back. CNN affiliate KOAT
said one officer fired, and CNN affiliate KRQE said two officers shot at the man. The suspect fired a total of four shots at officers, KRQE reported
"All of a sudden, at least a good eight gunshots. I went to the front of my house, I looked out and I see them flipping a man over, putting handcuffs on him," witness Steven Rogers told the station.
The incident was captured on a body camera, but the video isn't being released yet, Tixier said in an email
No officers were seriously injured. At least two officers are on paid leave, which is standard for the department, KRQE reported.
The first man taken into custody was taken to a hospital after complaining of dizziness, the station said. Tixier said he wasn't sure what that man was charged with.
The shooting marks a busy beginning to the year for the Police Department. On Monday, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg charged Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez with murder in the March shooting of James Boyd, a homeless man who had camped in the hills above the city.
The shooting was captured on camera and sparked demonstrations, and the Justice Department ruled the following month that "there is reason to believe" the city's police department had a "pattern and practice" of excessive force.
On Friday, a department lieutenant shot an undercover detective in a McDonald's parking lot during a $60 methamphetamine bust, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The injured officer was hospitalized and underwent surgeries, the paper reported.
Also last week, Bernalillo County deputies arrested Christopher Cook in the January 3 shooting of Albuquerque Police Department Officer Lou Golson.