Update on Woman Arrested Following SWAT Situation After Alleged Shooting and Assault in Domestic Dispute


April 2, 2024, 9:56 am , , , , , ,

Albuquerque, NM –

A domestic dispute escalated into violence on March 23rd, 2024, leading to the arrest of Cristyn Smith-Thomas on charges of aggravated assault, battery, and escape from custody of a peace officer. The incident, which unfolded at an apartment complex on 2808 Central Ave SE, drew swift response from the Albuquerque Police Department’s Impact Task Force.

Initial reports emerged when the victim, named as KC to safeguard their identity, contacted his property manager, Frank, for assistance. Frank stated that KC’s girlfriend, Cristyn Smith-Thomas, had allegedly shot him at least three times inside their apartment. Additionally, Smith-Thomas supposedly punched KC in the face. Frank promptly called 911, expressing concern for KC’s safety.

Upon arrival, APD officers, led by Officer J. Torres-Alvarado, encountered a chaotic scene. Frank informed officers of the situation, revealing that KC had messaged him about the shooting before seeking refuge in Frank’s apartment with a bloody lip. KC’s whereabouts were unknown at the time of police arrival.

Officers proceeded to Smith-Thomas’s apartment, located at the far east side of the complex, where they encountered resistance. Smith-Thomas initially denied any wrongdoing and claimed that there had been only a minor disagreement between her and KC, whom she referred to as her roommate. However, KC later returned and provided a harrowing account of the events. KC alleged that Smith-Thomas had fired a Glock 40 handgun at him during an argument. KC began to pack a bag to leave when Smith-Thomas then punched KC in the face, and he sustained a bloody lip. Smith-Thomas reportedly fired the gun again into the ceiling; KC then fled the apartment.

On March 23, 2024, ABQ RAW monitored the nearly three-hour ordeal between APD officers and Smith-Thomas, along with her mother-in-law, who was also inside the residence. During the standoff, Smith-Thomas’s mother completely disregarded the police perimeter and drove into the active scene. At times, officers voiced their concern about Smith-Thomas’s mother’s behavior, as she was exacerbating the chaotic scene by seemingly agitating Smith-Thomas further. We heard that Smith-Thomas was reportedly pacing to and from windows, but also “popping out” of the front door of the dwelling, then retreating back inside.

Additionally, we noticed the impact of this entire situation on neighbors in the area. Many residents found themselves unable to access or leave their homes, and authorities instructed patrons at Panera Bread to shelter in place for the entire duration of the incident.

At some point, APD officers managed to arrest Smith-Thomas and detain both her mother and mother-in-law. However, during the arrests, a dog inside the residence bit an APD officer, and another officer allegedly shot the dog. Reportedly, the APD officer did not sustain serious injuries.

After officers arrested Smith-Thomas, they transported her to Lovelace downtown for a medical evaluation. While waiting for medical personnel, Smith-Thomas allegedly slipped out of her handcuffs, attempted to escape custody, and ran out of the ambulance door. Despite resisting, authorities eventually subdued Smith-Thomas and placed her under arrest. Authorities discovered that Smith-Thomas had allegedly kicked APD Officer N. Duran in the chest, leading to additional charges of assault on a peace officer.

Subsequently, authorities transported Cristyn J. Smith-Thomas to Metropolitan Detention Center for booking.

Smith-Thomas faces the following charges stemming from the initial domestic incident with KC:

  • Aggravated Assault (deadly weapon) (household member) (T-4-FR-2024-001952)
  • Battery (household member) (T-4-FR-2024-001952)
  • Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon (T-4-FR-2024-001952)

Smith-Thomas is charged with the following offenses stemming from her attempt to escape from APD at Lovelace and kicking Officer Duran:

  • Escape or Attempt to Escape from the Custody of a Peace Officer (T-4-FR-2024-001953)
  • Battery upon a Peace Officer (T-4-FR-2024-001953)
  • Resisting, Evading or Obstructing an Officer (T-4-FR-2024-001953)

We did notice that on 3/25/2024, a judge released Smith-Thomas on released on “Personal Recognizance” (ROR’d) for the charges from her attempted escape, battery on a police officer, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer (T-4-FR-2024-001953). ABQ RAW is unsure why a judge would ROR Smith-Thomas given the gravity of what transpired on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024.

In addition, we did further research and we discovered that Smith-Thomas had a three prior charges from December 12, 2023. These charges include:

  • Receiving or Transferring Stolen Motor Vehicle (T-4-FR-2023-007414)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (felony) (T-4-FR-2023-007414)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (felony) (T-4-FR-2023-007414)

On January 4, 2024, the Assistant District Attorney handling the case allowed Smith-Thomas to enter a pre-prosecution diversion (PPD) program and dismissed the charges against her. However, it was mentioned that authorities could refile charges if Smith-Thomas failed to complete the PPD program.

We reached out to the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office and asked if, in the event that Smith-Thomas did not complete the PPD program, can the DA’s Office refile the charges, as stated in the Nolle Prosequi paperwork. We also asked if Smith-Thomas actually completed the PPD program.

We received a response from the DA’s Office indicating:

Ms. Smith-Thomas has not been in compliance with PPD and will be terminated due to the charges. The case will be returned back to ADA for prosecution. 

When last checked, Smith-Thomas was still in MDC Custody. The charges stemming from the December 12, 2023 incident have not been refiled as of today, April 2, 2024.


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