NMSP: Farmington police shoot and kill man after responding to wrong home
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FARMINGTON, N.M. — At around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Farmington Police Department was dispatched to a domestic violence call on Valley View Avenue.
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.
Dotson was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was uninjured.
New Mexico State Police said the Farmington police officers were not injured and will not be identified at this time.
According to authorities, officers were dispatched to 5308 Valley View but ended up knocking on the door of the house across the street.
Neighbors are just beginning to process what happened on the street they describe as a close-knit community.
“Especially on this street, because half of us are related,” said one neighbor who did not want to be identified.
The deadly mistake is now capturing national attention. Neighbors say the street will never be te same with Dotson gone.
“Robert was a great neighbor ever since that house was built and they moved in,” a neighbor said. “He just always watched out for the neighborhood. I used to have an inflatable pool on my back porch and my Rottweiler got into it and couldn’t get out and he noticed it and literally saved my dog’s life.”
New Mexico State Police are handling the investigation. Body camera video of the police response is expected to be released in the coming days.
This is a developing story. Stay with KOB 4 Eyewitness News and KOB.com for updates.