Officer Kenneth Shawn McWethy

Officer Kenneth Shawn McWethy

Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico

End of Watch Saturday, February 1, 1986

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Kenneth Shawn McWethy

Officer McWethy was shot and killed after searching for a suspicious man whom he observed running out of an auto parts store at 4:15 pm.

Unbeknownst to Officer McWethy, the man had just robbed the store at gunpoint. Upon observing the individual run towards an alley, he made a U-turn, radioed in his location, and parked facing toward the alley. The suspect, however, had hidden in some bushes and ambushed Officer McWethy as he still sat in his cruiser on Pacific Avenue near Broadway Boulevard SE in Albuquerque.

The subject walked up to the cruiser and opened fire from approximately ten feet away. Officer McWethy's vest stopped the first five rounds, but when he lifted his arm to protect himself, he was shot several times in the chest. He was transported to University of New Mexico Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The suspect was tried twice and ended with hung juries in both trials and was never convicted of Officer McWethy's murder. He did plead guilty to armed robbery and being a habitual offender and was sentenced to a long prison term. He died in prison on July 28, 2002.

Officer McWethy had served with the Albuquerque Police Department for three years. He was survived by his parents and several brothers. His father served as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not convicted

ambush, parolee, robbery, suspicious person

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Remembering you Shawn, may you be resting in peace.

Gretta Nunley-Boyer P1/C APD 1983-2003
Albuquerque Police Department

February 1, 2024

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