Authorities say that on Wednesday night, police in New Mexico shot and killed a man after they went to the wrong house in response to a domestic violence call. The police chief said it was a “chaotic scene.”
A statement from the state’s Department of Public Safety says that the shooting happened just before midnight on Wednesday when officers from the Farmington Police Department responded to the call. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau had been asked to look into what happened, the statement said.
Officers went to the wrong address when they got to the scene and knocked on the door. The state’s public safety officials said in a statement that the officers said they were police, but no one answered.
The statement said that footage from an officer’s body camera shows that as the officers moved away from the house, the homeowner opened the screen door while holding a gun. At least one shot was fired by an officer or officers, and it hit the homeowner, who police say is 52-year-old Robert Dotson.
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Dotson’s Wife Opened Fire on Officers
The public safety agency said that after Dotson was shot, his wife came out of the door and opened fire with a handgun, which made the officers shoot back.
“Once she realized that the people outside her house were police officers, she put down the gun and did what the officers told her to do,” the statement said.
The Office of the Medical Investigator said that Dotson was dead at the scene of the accident. Even though she wasn’t hurt, his wife hasn’t been charged with a crime.
In a video statement, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe admitted that he made a mistake and said he was “heartbroken” by what happened. He said that the body camera video will show a “chaotic scene” and will be released a few days after the officers give their statements.
Hebbe said it was a “very dark day” for the Dotson family, the community, and the police department.
“I can only offer the Dotson family my deepest condolences,” he said. “I don’t know what to say to make this better. It’s a terrible thing to happen, and it breaks my heart.”
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