By Joseph Kolb
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Reuters) - A suspect arrested after an Albuquerque police officer was shot several times during a traffic stop and left fighting for his life was charged on Thursday with violating federal firearms laws.
The officer, a military veteran who has been on the force for eight years, wore a body camera and was critically injured during a routine stop to question a motorcyclist on Wednesday night, police said. He underwent surgery at a hospital.
"Our officer is not out of the woods yet. We are still asking for prayers for him and for his family," the police department said in a statement.
The suspect, 34-year-old Albuquerque resident Davon Lymon, has an extensive violent criminal history, police said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives filed a criminal complaint on Thursday under a "worst of the worst" initiative that charges him with violating federal firearms laws.
According to the complaint, the police officer stopped Lymon in southeast Albuquerque for riding a motorcycle that was suspected of having a stolen license plate.
Lymon failed to comply with the officer's orders, the complaint said. When the officer tried to handcuff him, Lymon pulled a gun and fired six shots at the officer, the complaint added.
"Several rounds struck the APD officer, including one that struck the officer in the face near the chin," it said.
Lymon fled and was caught when law enforcement officers and canines found him hiding in a shed "with a handcuff still attached to one of his wrists," the complaint said. A semi-automatic pistol was found in a vacant lot in the area, it added.
In a statement, federal officials said Lymon had been prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he had felony convictions in two state court cases.
The statement said he had previously been found guilty of crimes including voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily harm.
Lymon is being treated at a hospital for injuries from a police dog, officials said. He will be taken into federal custody after he is discharged from the hospital.
The incident came a day after a New York City police officer was shot and killed while pursuing a suspect near a busy Manhattan roadway. [:nL1N12L1QE]
(Additional reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Peter Cooney)