Bloomfield man fatally shot by police threatened suicide over child molestation allegations

Steve Garrison
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — John J. Rogers allegedly told a family member before he was shot by police in late August that he "wouldn't be taken alive" if he was arrested in relation to a child molestation investigation, according to a police report obtained by The Daily Times.

The heavily redacted, 21-page report obtained through an Inspection of Public Records Act request contains details of the alleged abuse of at least five victims, though Bloomfield police Chief Randy Foster said the actual number of victims is not known.

"There was no determination on the actual number of victims," he said. "It was still pretty early in the investigation."

Foster said that police did not have the opportunity to interview Rogers, 61, regarding the allegations before he was fatally shot by a Bloomfield police officer at his home at 414 Ruth Lane in Bloomfield.

A New Mexico State Police investigation of the shooting found that Rogers pulled a firearm out of his vehicle before he was shot by the officer. Officers responded to the residence after receiving reports of a suicidal man, police have said.

Prosecutors will use the report to determine whether to charge the officer involved in the shooting. Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said in a text message on Friday that, as far as he was aware, his office has not yet received a report from state police on the shooting.

The Daily Times provided a copy of the report to the Rogers family's attorney, Brendan O'Reilly, who is with an Albuquerque law firm. O'Reilly declined to comment.

According to the report, a Bloomfield police detective was contacted by two alleged victims on Aug. 21, six days before the shooting.

The detective met with the women, who were "physically shaking, crying and having trouble speaking..." the report states.

The redactions remove all identifiers, including information that might detail what relationship, if any, the women had to Rogers. However, one woman alleged that the abuse took place over a period of 20 years, according to the report, and both women said that they had recently learned that Rogers had been sexually abusing three young girls over a period of several years.

The girls told investigators in separate interviews that Rogers had touched their genitals on multiple occasions, often while they were sitting on his lap in the family's computer room, the report states.

Two of the girls told investigators that the abuse began when they were seven or eight years old, but the report does not say what age they were at the time of the investigation.

All three girls said that they did not tell anyone because Rogers would become angry, the report states. One girl said she told an unidentified woman about the abuse when she was 9 years old and the woman said she would talk to Rogers. Rogers apologized to the girl, but the abuse continued, she said in the report.

The girl said that Rogers then told her that if she told anybody else about the abuse, he would shoot himself, the report states.

The women who reported the incident to police said they confronted Rogers about the abuse and he admitted to it, the report states. The family was debating whether to notify police, according to the report, with an unidentified person asking that it not be reported.

Rogers told a family member when they were deciding on whether to contact police that he "wouldn't be taken alive and he would shoot himself," according to the report.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.