NM AG declines to charge deputies in woman’s shooting death

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s attorney general has decided not to file charges against Bernalillo County deputies involved in the shooting death of a mentally ill woman.

The office of Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Thursday he was declining to prosecute after “extensive examination of the case.”

Balderas says the 2019 fatal shooting of Elisha Lucero demonstrates the need to re-think how to investigate police shootings.

Lucero’s family had asked the attorney general to take over the review in July 2020.

Her sister, Elaine Maestas, told the Albuquerque Journal she was not surprised but still heartbroken by the decision.

Authorities responded to the family’s home after a relative called 911 saying Lucero, 28, had hit her uncle. The relative told authorities Lucero was mentally ill, needed help and was a threat to herself and others.

When deputies arrived, they said Lucero refused to come out but then ran out screaming and armed with a knife. Three sheriff’s deputies shot Lucero, hitting her at least 21 times. She died at the scene.

A lawsuit filed by her family against the Bernalillo County Commission and Sheriff Manuel Gonzales was settled for $4 million.

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