Law enforcement chase on U.S. Highway 64 leads to death of fleeing suspect near Waterflow

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — One person is dead after being shot by San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputies on the afternoon of July 11 near Waterflow along U.S. Highway 64.

Few details were provided, and the identity of the person who was shot was not released in a July 11 Facebook post on the Sheriff's Office page.

Deputies intercepted a vehicle that fled Navajo police and crossed from the Navajo Nation into the Sheriff's Office jurisdiction, according to the Facebook post. 

No details released on July 11 described the encounter with the suspect, which led to the person being shot and dying at the scene from their injuries.

No information was released regarding why Navajo police were pursuing the person.

The Sheriff’s Office Facebook post initially warned around 2:57 p.m. of law enforcement activity area at a location they identified as Mile Marker 33.5, and warned of restricted traffic at the scene.

A post update around 4 p.m. warned motorists to take Navajo Route 36 due to traffic congestion.

Information about the shooting was released at 9:06 p.m.

“This is an active investigation and more details will be released as they become available,” the Sheriff’s Office stated.  

Traffic on the roadways reopened around 12:21 a.m. on July 12. 

The Farmington Police Department will lead an investigation as part of the San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force.

The most recent law enforcement shooting involving the Sheriff's Office occurred on Dec. 14, when 46-year-old William Hernandez of Kirtland was shot by six law enforcement officers including four deputies. 

Hernandez was shot on the morning of Dec. 14 in the roadway of West Murray Drive, in front of Life Care Center of Farmington.

He was accused of striking his girlfriend with a firearm, leading police on a pursuit and pointing a handgun to the head of a male passenger inside a Ford SUV parked in the roadway of West Murray Drive.

Reporter Joshua Kellogg contributed to the story.

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e