Shot fired by Farmington officer during vehicle theft investigation

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — Farmington police are investigating an alleged vehicle theft in which an officer fired his weapon once after locating the vehicle at an area gas station.

The suspect in the alleged vehicle theft is in Navajo police custody, and the Farmington Police Department is seeking an extradition warrant, according to a Farmington police press release.

Officers for the Farmington Police Department were dispatched around 4:51 a.m. today to a residence in the 700 block of West Arrington Street on a report of a stolen vehicle.

An officer located the vehicle parked at the Giant gas station at 1020 Bisti Highway and believed it was occupied. He activated his emergency lights and called for backup.

The vehicle started to back up, and the officer fired his weapon once, according to the press release.

The vehicle then pulled into the westbound lane of the Bisti Highway, and the officer followed, engaging in a high-speed pursuit. The officer discontinued the pursuit for safety reasons.

Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said the department isn't releasing additional details on the case, as it remains under investigation. 

A passenger of the vehicle later was identified by detectives, who were able to identify the suspect with the information they learned.

Officers with the Farmington police gang unit located the vehicle this afternoon along U.S. Highway 491 near mile marker 55 in the area of Newcomb.

The suspect, whose name is not being released until charges have been filed, was found passed out inside the vehicle. Navajo police were called to the scene, and they took the suspect into custody.

No one was injured during the incident, according to Farmington police.