Who Is Amelia Baca? Woman With Dementia Shot to Death by New Mexico Police

Last month in New Mexico, police shot a 75-year-old woman, Amelia Baca, who was suffering from dementia, according to her family, and an investigation was launched into the incident.

Police said that an officer encountered Baca at a residence in Las Cruces and she was holding knives. The officer eventually fired shots at Baca, which resulted in her death.

While the incident happened in April, video footage from the officer's body cam has now begun to circulate on social media.

In the video, which was posted to Twitter on Thursday, an officer asks two women already in the home to leave the house and said that he is a member of the police department.

Baca can then be seen stepping into the doorway while holding what appears to be two knives.

The officer then pulled out his gun and called for her to drop the two knives repeatedly. He then fires two shots at Baca and cries can be heard from the two women the police officer initially spoke to.

The officer then explained to other officers where the knives were and how they should proceed.

After the shooting an investigation was launched and the officer who shot Baca was placed on administrative leave, according to a CBS4 report.

The Dona Ana County Officer-Involved Incident Task Force made up of the New Mexico State Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office, the New Mexico State University Police Department and the Las Cruces Police Department have been involved in the investigation, according to the police.

Baca's family are also expected to hold a press conference about the shooting on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Hotel in Las Cruces and will be accompanied by their attorneys, Sam Bregman and Daniela Labinoti.

After the shooting, Baca's family came forward and spoke to local media about the incident.

Her grandson, Bryan Guiterrez, told Las Cruces Sun-News and other media outlets about the incident and gave more information about his grandmother.

He said she lived with dementia and was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of the shooting.

"My aunt ended up calling the police so they can get an ambulance to try to get her help," Gutierrez said.

He also said that instead of an ambulance, the police showed up and asked other family members to exit the home. He said that those family members told the police that Baca was mentally ill, he also claimed that Baca had the knives next to her and not in her hand when police shot her.

"The officer kept telling her, put the [f******] knife down. Put the [f******] knife down. When they finally pushed my cousin and my aunt away, the officer shot two shots at my grandma."

In April, the Las Cruces Police Department issued a press release about the shooting on its Facebook page.

On Saturday, April 16, 2022, at about 6.30 p.m. Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) police officers responded to the 800 block of Fir Avenue regarding a female armed with a knife at the residence making homicidal threats to another occupant in the home," the press release said.

"On arrival, an LCPD police officer encountered a female who was armed with at least one knife. The incident resulted in the officer firing at least one round at the female. Lifesaving measures were initiated, however, the female died on the scene."

Newsweek has contacted the Las Cruces Police Department for comment.

Police tape
A file photo of police tape. A woman with dementia was shot to death by New Mexico police, and her family are speaking out. Getty Images