NMDOJ: No charges for Farmington police officers in deadly shooting at wrong house
FARMINGTON, N.M. — The Farmington police officers who shot and killed a man after going to the wrong house for a domestic violence call will not be charged.
The New Mexico Department of Justice confirmed the decision to KOB 4. The department notified the district attorney and Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe of their decision Friday.
According to the NMDOJ, a report prepared by Professor Seth W. Stoughton concluded officers made a “reasonable” attempt to contact the people inside Dotson’s home. The report also concluded officers approaching the wrong house “did not foreseeably create an unnecessarily dangerous situation.”
NMDOJ prosecutors reportedly worked with Stoughton to examine officers’ lapel video and determined their use of force was “appropriate and consistent.”
“After a careful review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the April 5, 2023, shooting death of Robert Dotson, there is no basis for pursuing a criminal prosecution of Farmington Police Officers Daniel Estrada, Dylan Goodluck and Waylan Wasson,” NMDOJ officials said in a statement issued Tuesday to KOB 4.
The spokesperson added the department met in person with Dotson’s family to explain the decision. They also reportedly showed the family the report detailing the findings.
According to New Mexico State Police, Farmington police officers mistakenly approached the wrong house. Officers reportedly knocked on the front door and announced they were police.
When no one answered, officers asked dispatch to call the reporting party back and have them come to the front door.
As officers backed away from the door, the homeowner approached the door, armed with a handgun. Police identified the homeowner as 52-year-old Robert Dotson.
“At this point in the encounter, officer(s) fired at least one round from their duty weapon(s), striking Mr. Dotson,” NMSP spokesman Ray Wilson wrote in a news release.
After the initial shooting, Dotson’s wife – who was also armed – opened fire from the doorway of the home. Once again, police shot back.
“Once she realized that the individuals outside the residence were officers, she put the gun down and complied with the officer’s commands,” Wilson wrote.
Authorities pronounced Dotson dead at the scene. His wife did not sustain any injuries.
New Mexico State Police said the Farmington police officers also did not sustain any injuries.
According to authorities, dispatch sent officers to 5308 Valley View but they ended up knocking on the door of the house across the street.
You can read the full report and letter from the NMDOJ to the attorney general and police here.
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