Byron “Trey” Economidy, the Albuquerque police detective who stopped Davon Lymon on a motor scooter Sept. 19, has spent plenty of time in the headlines during his 10-plus years with APD.
He has received numerous commendations through the years, and praise from superiors for his police work.
The case he is perhaps best known for, however, remains mired in controversy. It also has some parallels with Economidy’s traffic stop of Lymon last year.
In February 2011, Economidy stopped 29-year-old Jacob Mitschelen in Southeast Albuquerque for an expired license plate. Mitschelen fled on foot. Economidy ran after him and pushed him down multiple times.
According to Economidy’s version of events, a .40-caliber handgun fell from Mitschelen’s pants. Mitschelen picked up the gun and, according to Economidy, was turning toward him when the officer fired three shots.
The bullets struck Mitschelen to the left of the center of his back, killing him. The gun Mitschelen was carrying turned out not to be loaded, and there was no magazine in it. After the shooting, Economidy and ATF Special Agent Brandon Garcia approached Mitschelen to handcuff him.
Mitschelen said: “The gun wasn’t loaded. I wouldn’t have shot you guys.”
His family sued the city and settled out of court for $300,000.
Economidy was cleared of wrongdoing by the District Attorney’s Office and by APD. The department did not discipline him for the shooting, but he was suspended for four days for using his personally owned gun in the shooting — and for a Facebook post journalists discovered after the shooting in which Economidy listed his job as “human waste disposal.”