FARMINGTON — A registered sex offender shot himself dead after a more than seven-hour Christmas Eve standoff with San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies, officials said.
Byron Boyd, 39, of Aztec, apparently died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, said Beth Utley, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. Deputies found him at 5:44 p.m.
Deputies arrested Josh Leaper about an hour later on suspicion of harboring a fugitive and assaulting a peace officer. Leaper was allegedly hiding Boyd on his property.
“No pain or situation is worth taking your own life,” said Sheriff Ken Christesen in a statement. “This is a tragedy for everyone, for his family, for us. There is nothing worth ending your life over; it’s just a terrible situation for all involved.”
Detectives have notified Boyd’s next of kin.
The search for Boyd began at 10:30 a.m. on Monday after deputies received a tip that he had cut off his ankle monitor. Boyd was wanted for a probation violation.
Deputies found him barricaded inside a 30-by-50-foot cinder-block structure near a residence on County Road 2900 (Ruins Road) and Boyd threatened to shoot any law enforcement personnel that came near.
Boyd fired about six shots at sheriff’s deputies and SWAT personnel during the incident.
The Sheriff’s Office closed traffic from the 11 mile marker on County Road 2900 to U.S. Hwy. 550 north of Aztec.
Boyd emptied about three tanks of propane inside the structure and the smell of gas hung in the air through the evening.
During the standoff, San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies fired pepper spray into the structure and one round that is believed to have hit a security window and not the suspect.
They breached the door to the structure around 4:25 p.m. and a SWAT mechanical robot was sent in to assess the situation.
Deputies were able to determine that Boyd was motionless through the robot’s camera. They entered the building and confirmed his death.
“No (law enforcement personnel were) injured, luckily,” Utley said.