Police found no evidence of altercation prior to fatal shooting east of Flora Vista

Steve Garrison
The Daily Times

AZTEC — Detectives from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office found no evidence of a drive-by shooting at Myles Roughsurface's house prior to the 27-year-old man's death on Friday, according to a police report released by the sheriff's office on Monday.

Roughsurface's stepfather, Charles Lee, told The Daily Times on Saturday that he had placed guns in Roughsurface's room so that his stepson could protect himself after two young white men earlier this year drove by the family's house in a white truck and shot at them, wounding the family's dog.

Police found one of those firearms in Roughsurface's pocket after he was fatally shot by a New Mexico State Police officer Friday evening, an officer told Roughsurface's family on Saturday.

According to the police report, two family members called 911 shortly before 10 p.m. Oct. 19 and reported that shots were fired near their residence, located at No. 9 County Road 3267.

However, detectives could not locate any shell casings near the area where the shots were heard, and a follow-up investigation did not turn up substantive evidence that the house or the family dog had been struck by bullets.

Detectives also did not find Roughsurface's statements regarding the shooting to be credible. Roughsurface told police he saw two men in a white truck fire guns at his house as he was driving home from the Circle K in Flora Vista.

However, surveillance footage showed Roughsurface was at Circle K at the time the shooting was reported, the report states.

According to the report, the surveillance footage showed a man detectives believe to be Roughsurface making obscene gestures at passing motorists outside the store at the time dispatchers received reports that shots were fired.

Several family members, including Roughsurface, accused two men of being the shooters, according to the report, but the names of the individuals were redacted from the report.

The men were located by deputies driving in the area shortly after the alleged shooting, and their vehicle was stopped, the report states. Both men denied owning guns, and officers saw no evidence in their vehicle that they had weapons, ammunition or spent shell casings, the report states. One of the men later told a detective he had been in an altercation with Roughsurface shortly before he was accused in the shooting.

He said he and his friend were at the intersection near Roughsurface's house looking for a lost pair of glasses when Roughsurface approached them, the report states.

The man told detectives Roughsurface cursed at them and told them to get off his property. The man told detectives they were nowhere near Roughsurface's property, but Roughsurface regularly acted like he "runs the neighborhood," the report states.

Neither Lee nor Roughsurface's mother, Darlene Tso, could be reached for comment Monday.

Detectives said in the report they had previously had contact with Roughsurface, and he was out on bond on Oct. 19.

According to court records, Roughsurface was charged on Sept. 12 in Farmington Magistrate Court with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Farmington police officers were dispatched at 11 p.m. Sept. 10 to the area of East 30th Street and Sullivan Avenue after receiving reports a man had exited his vehicle and threatened another motorist with a knife, according to the criminal complaint.

The motorist told police a man driving a tan Ford Explorer was tailgaiting him on East 30th Street, and he tapped his brakes to create distance between the vehicles.

The Ford Explorer sped past the motorist's car, and he saw two men in the vehicle drinking from a bottle of alcohol, the report states.

The man told police he was writing down the vehicle's license plate number when the two men exited the Ford Explorer and charged his vehicle. He said the passenger in the vehicle was wielding a knife, the complaint states.

A Ford Explorer with a license plate number similar to one the man provided was located and stopped by police near the intersection of Rowe Avenue and East Main Street.

Roughsurface, the vehicle's passenger, was found to be in possession of a folding knife and several 50 milliliter bottles of liquor.

Roughsurface told detectives he and the driver were attempting to locate someone and denied threatening the man.

Roughsurface was released on a $5,000 surety bond and ordered not to possess any firearms or consume alcohol, according to court records.

The allegations made against Roughsurface contrast the descriptions provided by his friends and family, who said the man was intelligent and generous. His friend, Jacquelin Medina, said Saturday that Roughsurface was always willing to help people and gave her money to buy milk for her children.

Roughsurface's mother said her son could hold a conversation with anyone, but was also handy and capable of building a house from the foundation up.

Friends, family and neighbors held a candelight vigil for Roughsurface on Saturday evening.

New Mexico State Police officials have not identified Roughsurface as the individual shot Friday evening, but The Daily Times was present Saturday afternoon when officers informed Tso and Lee about their son's death.

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.