Man arrested after garage explosion, assault of police officer

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CLOVIS, N.M. – A Clovis man is in the hospital after a violent chain of events. 

Police say the man apparently ran from an exploding home, and tried to kill an officer while trying to get away.  Neighbors watched it all unfold.

The Clovis Police Department says it started when a neighbor heard a loud “bang” followed by smoke on Monday night. 

“The resident had reported that there was some smoke coming from the garage, and that the garage door to the residence had been blown away from the residence,” said CPD Capt. Robert Telles. 

Police say neighbors saw convicted felon, 32-year-old Anthony Romo, running from the home after the explosion. 

“Whenever he was running from the residence there was an officer in the area that heard the explosion, so he’d gone back to see if he could assist, basically was going to help set up some containment for the fire department,” said Telles. 

That officer was Lt. James Gurule. He was off duty, but he jumped out of bed and rushed to the scene where he encountered Romo. 

“The officer then began protecting himself and started addressing Mr. Romo. When he addressed Mr. Romo they ended up in a brief scuffle,” Telles said. 

According to the arrest warrant, Romo tried to shoot Gurule while he was in his patrol unit, but the gun malfunctioned. Romo then tried to get into the Gurule’s unit, and punched him in the face prompting Gurule to use the only defensive tool he had – a bean bag gun. 

Romo was then taken down and arrested.   

Police found a lot of drugs along Romo’s get-away path, including 180 fentanyl pills, and 112 grams of meth.

Romo is in a Lubbock hospital getting treated for injuries. When he’s released he’ll face multiple charges, including drug-related charges, assault with intent to commit murder, and battery on a peace officer.  

Police say when they got to the home on Paseo Village was seriously damaged.  

“There’s significant damage to the garage, there are some windows that had been damaged, and also a possible collapse of part of the roof of the residence,” said Telles. 

The investigation is ongoing.