NMSP: 1 dead following officer-involved shooting; no law enforcement injured
November 26, 2017 02:33 PM
PEÑASCO, N.M. – State police say a man is dead and four members of law enforcement are on administrative leave following an officer-involved shooting early Saturday morning in the northern New Mexico city of Peñasco.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said the incident occurred shortly after 8 a.m., when an NMSP sergeant was dispatched to help Taos County Sheriff's deputies respond to reports that 39-year-old Nelson Rodarte had assaulted his girlfriend. According to police, Rodarte was drunk and the situation had escalated from the night before. At one point, police say, he pointed a gun at her.
The girlfriend eventually left to go to a family member's house; Rodarte eventually went there as well and began to harass them.
The suspect in question barricaded himself in a trailer, Kassetas said. He had a pistol and rifle with him, and was eventually able to get to the roof of the trailer.
"We call that high ground," he said. "Tactically, officers are at a disadvantage because he had a position to fire on those officers."
A second state police officer arrived on scene to assist at that point. According to Kassetas, the suspect eventually went into a prone position on the trailer's roof, then knelt. Law enforcement at the trailer perceived some kind of threat, and at least one officer and one deputy fired an unknown number of shots, he said.
The suspect was killed, and no law enforcement personnel were injured.
"I can't tell you if the suspect fired or not. It's still very early in the investigation," Kassetas said.
In the meantime, four individuals – two state police officers and two deputies – are on standard administrative leave. No further information about the suspect has been released.
Updated: November 26, 2017 02:33 PM
Created: November 25, 2017 10:31 AM
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