FARMINGTON — The man shot by a U.S. Marshals Service deputy after a car chase on Wednesday had recently been promoted at his work, where coworkers were shocked to hear news of his death.
John Marszalek II, 26, led police on a car chase through Farmington for about 20 minutes on Wednesday. The chase ended when he crashed into a Farmington patrol car at Butler Avenue and 20th Street. The Marshals Service deputy shot Marszalek once shortly after the crash, Farmington police said.
Police said Marszalek was stabbing himself in the neck and ramming the patrol car when he was shot. It's not yet clear if he died from the gunshot or the self-inflicted stabbing.
Marszalek had lived in Farmington for about four years. He worked at Pizza Hut on West Main Street for two years, said Cyndi Harrison, the restaurant's general manager. She said in recent months she promoted Marszalek to shift supervisor. She said she thought he was doing well.
"He was like a gentle giant. He was helpful, came in on time," Harrison said. "It's all shocking to us, really. He was the best employee I had."
The late man's father, John Marszalek, described his son as a gentle giant, too. The elder Marszalek didn't have an explanation for his son's behavior.
Last weekend, the younger Marszalek called Farmington police to report an unattended death. Farmington police Detective Sgt. Brandon Lane said the deceased was a friend of Marszalek's, but he didn't have information on their relationship.
Farmington Deputy City Attorney Jennifer Breakell said the investigation into the death Marszalek reported is pending, and the city could not release police reports.
City and police officials have also declined to release police dashboard camera footage of Wednesday's car chase and shooting because they are still under investigation.
Lane said police have footage of the car chase, but it's not clear if police cameras filmed the shooting. The police car Marszalek rammed with his blue Dodge truck was filming north and didn't record any of the shooting, Lane said.
Marszalek's truck was pinned between a Farmington patrol car and a white truck driven by a member of the Southwest Investigative Fugitive Team, which is comprised of federal, state and local enforcement. Lane said the deputy who shot Marszalek was part of that team. Police declined to release the deputy's name.
Lane said police still have to interview key witnesses to the shooting and won't release more details about the circumstances that led to Marszalek's death.
"We don't deal with (U.S. Marshals Service) policies and procedures. We're strictly conducting a criminal investigation," Lane said. "Just like with any other death or shooting, once we completed our investigation, we present it to the (district attorney's) office. What to do with it, they handle that."Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.