Authorities in New Mexico have identified the person killed after a five-hour standoff as a 50-year-old Ignacio man.
The San Juan County, New Mexico, Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service attempted to serve a warrant at a residence in Farmington on Monday to David Michael Valenzuela.
The Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that Valenzuela had a felony warrant for multiple violent offenses, including domestic violence, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a felon in possession of a firearm. The warrant was obtained by the Ignacio Police Department.
The Sheriff’s Office and Ignacio Police Department did not immediately return calls Wednesday seeking comment.
Around 4:30 p.m. Monday, officers made multiple attempts to contact Valenzuela at a residence at 2909 Yale Drive. After hearing movement inside, authorities knocked down the door and were immediately fired at with at least one round by Valenzuela, according to the Facebook post.
Officers took cover from the gunfire, the Sheriff’s Office said, and then knocked out security cameras placed around the home. Two more shots were fired at officers before a woman exited the house and was detained, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Traffic in the area was closed to the public, and authorities placed a reverse 911 call to notify residents in the neighborhood, but the call reached only one person. As a result, deputies went door-to-door to evacuate anyone within 100 yards of the scene.
The Sheriff’s Office said deputies tried to negotiate with Valenzuela over the phone “to resolve this situation as peacefully as possible.” They also learned another woman, Valenzuela’s girlfriend, was still inside.
“Valenzuela gave multiple timelines of compliance and made multiple threats that he wanted to commit suicide by cop,” the post said. “Negotiators continued to do everything they could to get Valenzuela and (his girlfriend) out of the house safely.”
After it became dark, authorities set up lights outside the house. As time went on, Valenzuela became more hostile, the Sheriff’s Office said. Around 8:45 p.m., authorities decided to force the couple out of the house.
Authorities warned the couple gas was going to be deployed, but the couple refused to exit the house. Five cans of gas were fired into the residence, and the girlfriend came out with a dog. She was immediately detained.
Valenzuela stood in the doorway with a pistol in his hand but did not point it at officers, the Sheriff’s Office said. He then went back inside and told officers he was going to kill himself. Police heard a gunshot and the line went dark.
Police then sent a robot inside the house and found Valenzuela in the bathroom. A SWAT team and medics went inside and confirmed he was dead at 9:10 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office said no shots were fired by police during the entire incident. No charges were filed against the two women who were inside the house.
“The Sheriff’s Office is saddened by the loss of life but appreciate the cooperation and assistance from the family of Valenzuela during such a difficult time,” the post said. “The Sheriff’s Office wants to thank Farmington Police Department, Farmington Fire Department, EMS and the U.S. Marshals Service for their efforts and assistance in this case.”