Man who shot himself now faces assault charge

Steve Garrison
Kurt Trennepohl

FARMINGTON — Prosecutors have filed charges against the 48-year-old Farmington man who allegedly shot himself in the head during a traffic stop Saturday night.

Kurt Trennepohl was charged Tuesday in Aztec Magistrate Court with aggravated assault on a police officer after he allegedly shot himself with a .22 caliber handgun and then pointed the gun at a deputy from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, according to a department press release.

The deputy was able to convince Trennepohl to drop the weapon, and he was taken into custody without incident, the release states.

Trennepohl led police on a brief chase from Flora Vista to Farmington before shooting himself at about 7 p.m. near the intersection at East Main Street and Country Club, according to the release.

After his arrest, Trennepohl was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center and treated for gunshot wound, the release states. He was later flown to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque.

A UNM hospital spokesman said Wednesday Trennepohl was in satisfactory condition.

Trennepohl could not be reached for comment by phone on Wednesday, and he has not yet retained legal representation.

In this still from police dashboard camera footage released by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, Kurt Trennepohl, right, is pictured moments after exiting his truck on Saturday evening. Trennepohl, 48, has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer for allegedly shooting himself with a handgun and then pointing the gun at a sheriff’s office deputy.

On Tuesday, the sheriff's office also released video footage from the arrest.

Sheriff's office spokesman Kyle Lincoln said Wednesday that his office is awaiting blood test results before determining whether to charge Trennepohl with drunken driving.

Trennepohl pleaded guilty in November to his third drunken driving offense, according to Farmington Municipal Court records.

He was sentenced to 364 days of supervised probation and ordered to attend a 28-day DWI treatment program, court records state.

Trennepohl was previously convicted of drunken driving in Carbon County, Wyo., in 2002 and San Juan County in 2009, according to court records.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.