Deputies with the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office (RASO) were involved in a police shooting Aug. 24. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate this shooting incident.
The investigation indicates that around 1 a.m., Aug. 24, RASO received a call about a fight in progress at the Jemez Electric Company on US 84/285 in Rio Arriba County. RASO deputies responded to Jemez Electric and found no sign of a fight in progress. Further investigation led deputies to a residence on County Road 1 in Hernandez. When deputies arrived in the area they heard what sounded like a verbal altercation nearby.
Deputies discovered nearby two males outside a residence on County Road 1. When deputies approached the subjects, both fled from the deputies and the deputies gave chase. According to deputy statements, as the deputies were chasing the subjects, they gave commands for the suspects to stop, but they did not comply. Deputies lost sight of the suspects briefly, then observed an unidentified male holding what appeared to be a rifle pointed at the deputies. The male was holding the rifle in a shooting stance with the rifle aimed at deputies.
RASO Deputy Gabriel Wadt, a two-year veteran of the department, stated he feared the deputies were going to be struck by gunfire and he fired one shot at the male from his department-issued handgun. No one was struck or injured by the gunfire. The male ran away after the shot was fired.
Deputies subsequently took cover and waited for additional law enforcement resources to respond. As deputies searched the area, they located a shotgun lying on the ground in the area. The shotgun was taken into evidence and turned over to State Police. Deputies later detained two male subjects who were later released pending the results of the investigation. At this time, no charges have been filed.
Following this incident, RASO contacted the State Police Investigations Bureau to investigate the shooting. At the conclusion of this investigation the case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.