FARMINGTON — The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator has ruled John Robert Marszalek II's death a homicide, caused by multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound.
Marszalek, 26, led police on a car chase through Farmington on March 12. The chase ended after he crashed into a Farmington patrol car at Butler Avenue and 20th Street. Police said Marszalek was stabbing himself repeatedly in the neck and ramming the patrol car when he was shot by Marshals Service Deputy Chris Spencer.
According to the death investigation summary, obtained through a public records request by The Daily Times, the bullet entered Marzalek's lower back. It traveled through two ribs and injured two blood vessels near the heart before becoming lodged in his sternum. Blood was found pooled in his left chest cavity and his left lung was bruised, the summary states.
The stabbing wounded three blood vessels, including a jugular vein and two carotid arteries. The knife pierced both Marszalek's trachea and his windpipe.
Assistant Chief Medical Investigator Michelle Aurelius determined that the death from blood loss was caused by both the stab wounds and gunshot wound.
"Although the injury to the neck is self inflicted, the gunshot wound resulted from the actions of someone else, thus the manner of death is homicide," the summary concludes.
Amy Boule, director of operations for the medical investigator's office, said that investigators do not typically comment on a report. She said Aurelius determined the manner of death was a homicide based on her training, experience, and through consultation with colleagues.
Farmington police Detective Sgt. Brandon Lane said his office had received the autopsy report and expected to receive the toxicology report on Wednesday. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
The medical investigator's office told The Daily Times on Tuesday that toxicology testing was still in process and that the reports take anywhere from three to six months from the date of death to complete.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said his office could issue an opinion on whether the shooting was justified or a criminal act by early next week.
He said he has not yet reviewed the autopsy report and his office was still awaiting the toxicology report.
"To my knowledge, (Marszalek) did not have any prior history of acting that way," O'Brien said. "So we think the toxicology might explain some of that."
The U.S. Marshals Service is also investigating the shooting. Deputy U.S. Marshal Ben Segotta said last week that his office will present its findings to the agency's shooting review board once Farmington police complete their investigation.
The Daily Times reported in March that Marszalek was described by family and coworkers as a "gentle giant." Marszalek worked at Pizza Hut on West Main Street for two years and was promoted to shift supervisor shortly before his death.
Farmington police detectives John Bonnell and George Joy, and crime scene technician Jamie Clemans observed the autopsy.
"A death investigation is the most serious case we carry out," Joy said. "It is helpful for us to be there and get the initial doctor's thoughts and impressions on what he thinks is the cause of death."