A Farmington Police Department officer fired four shots at a Bayfield man who tried to stab him in a Motel 6 earlier this month during a standoff with police, according to New Mexico State Police.
A news release from the State Police, which is investigating the shooting, identified the officer involved in the shooting as Alfonso Sifuentes.
Andrew Rossi, 25, was a suspect in a Feb. 25 shooting in Ignacio, where a 47-year-old man was injured. Rossi was wanted on suspicion of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
According to the release, law enforcement with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and the Farmington Police Department were sent to the hotel at 1600 E. Bloomfield Blvd. in Farmington around 8:45 p.m. March 5 after an officer spotted Rossi’s car outside the motel.
Rossi was inside the motel with his mother, who exited the room around 10:30 p.m. and told officers her son did not want to surrender, according to the release.
Officers tried to negotiate with Rossi for several hours to get him to peacefully surrender before they sent a robot inside the motel room to locate him. The robot helped them see that Rossi was hiding in a ceiling vent.
FPD’s SWAT team stormed the room around 1 a.m. after more than a four-hour standoff, according to the release. They began to remove ceiling tiles, and Rossi dropped to the floor shirtless and wielding a knife.
According to the release, Rossi charged Officer Sifuentes and tried to stab him. Sifuentes pushed Rossi off and fired four shots, fatally wounding him. The release did not say how many shots struck Rossi.
FPD released a video last week of the incident recorded on an officer’s body camera.
In a video statement, Farmington police Chief Steve Hebbe defends Sifuentes’ decision to use lethal force.
“Although Rossi was wanted for a violent crime, FPD was committed to a peaceful resolution,” he said. “Unfortunately, Rossi’s actions did not allow for that. While this is a difficult situation for everyone involved, I strongly support the actions taken by the officers.”
Rossi was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The State Police’s Investigations Bureau is investigating the shooting.
Sgt. Wes Crume with the Ignacio Police Department told The Durango Herald in an earlier interview that Rossi’s death closes the investigation into the Feb. 25 shooting in Ignacio.