Roswell police officer arrested, hospitalized after armed standoff |

Roswell police officer arrested, hospitalized after armed standoff

Stephen Montoya,
February 26, 2017 05:20 PM

Roswell, N.M. — A Roswell Police Department officer was arrested by Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputies Saturday, after deputies were called to the officer’s home on East Gallina Road, north of the Roswell city limits, in reference to a suicidal subject.

Deputies say they encountered off duty Roswell police officer Valerie Palombi, 24, on the front porch with a gun. She then went back inside the house. A gunshot was then heard coming from inside the house. As some of the law enforcement responders approached the rear of the house to see if Palombi was hurt, several more shots were heard coming from inside the house.

As Palombi exited the front of her house, she refused to drop her handgun, police say. As she approached deputies and officers, a RPD officer fired beanbag rounds at her. Palombi was struck by the beanbags and fell to the ground and dropped her gun.

Police and deputies say they were then able to approach her and take her into custody.

“All of us at the Roswell Police Department are shocked and saddened by what occurred involving our fellow officer,” RPD Chief Phil Smith said. “We’re concerned for the officer’s well-being and we stand ready to offer any assistance to help address whatever brought her to this stage. At the same time, we are confident, through the sheriff’s office investigation, all laws will be enforced.”

“We in law enforcement are often called upon to intervene in people’s lives when they are at their very worst. These situations are difficult and frequently dangerous. When the person you are trying to help is somebody you know and have worked with, it is even more emotionally challenging. We are thankful we were able to resolve this situation without any of the responding officers being hurt. As partners with the Roswell Police Department, we too feel their pain and we offer any assistance possible as we move forward,” Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder said.

Police say Palombi was hospitalized after being struck by beanbag rounds fired at her as she approached RPD deputies with a gun in her hands. Palombi was described as being in stable condition as she continued medical treatment at a hospital. 

According to RPD, Palombi was charged by the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) with aggravated assault on a peace officer. Palombi has been a police officer with RPD since January 2014.

The CCSO is handling the investigation of the incident.


Stephen Montoya,

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