Reports say officers repeatedly asked the man to put down his gun
Farmington police officers fatally shot 21-year-old Charlie Thompson on Saturday night after the gunman allegedly moved his weapon towards the officer who repeatedly asked him to put down his weapon.
The San Juan County Regional Officer’s shooting task force is investigating the shooting, according to a post on the Farmington Police Department Blog.
At approximately 4:50 p.m. Saturday, officers approached a vehicle stopped in a parking lot near the 1700 block of East 20th Street. They suspected Thompson, wanted for multiple crimes, was inside, the blog said.
As officers attempted to contact Thompson in the vehicle, he exited the vehicle and ran across 20th Street, apparently carrying a gun.
Officers followed Thompson until he stopped on Yucca Avenue near Sage Drive. According to a press release, officers repeatedly asked Thompson to lay down his gun. He eventually moved the gun towards the officers and two officers fired.
Officers immediately rescued Thompson and called paramedics. He was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he died. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Farmington Police said in the statement that the incident is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are currently probing the area for witnesses,” Farmington Police Department Chief Steve Hebbe said in a video. “If you saw anything around 20th Street that the incident started around Defined Fitness, give us a call.”
The Shooting Task Force handles shootouts involving officers in the area. It is made up of investigators from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State Police, and the Farmington, Aztec, and Bloomfield police departments.
“I remind you that it has only been three months since the last time a subject with a firearm, in this case, shot our officer,” Hebbe said in the video. “It happens too often. I am very disappointed that we are back here so soon, and I am very relieved that our officers were not injured during this.
Hebbe was referring to a Jan. 7 incident in which officer Joseph Barreto was shot and wounded while trying to stop a suspected drunk driver. The man suspected of shooting Barreto was Elias Buck, who had escaped from La Plata County Jail a week earlier.
Buck was captured Jan. 14 in Phoenix and jailed at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center in Farmington for aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, absconding law enforcement and resisting arrest.