Man shot by Farmington police in May arrested, being held without bond in jail

Very little public information is available on federal case

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Brian Benally walks toward a dumpster at a Farmington business on West Main Street on May 10. He is accused of firing a gun 25 times in the downtown Farmington area, leaving shell casings by the dumpster.
  • Brian Benally, 30, was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Nov. 15, according to jail records.
  • The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office arrested Benally around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at a residence near County Road 7053, south of Farmington near Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, according to spokesperson Kristi Hughes.
  • The San Juan County District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 23 filed a motion to keep Benally in the county jail without bond while awaiting trial.

FARMINGTON — The man accused of firing about two dozen rounds from a handgun in the downtown Farmington area and was shot by police in May has been arrested and is being held without bond in the county jail.

The arrest comes as the man faces a federal criminal case about which very little information is publicly available.

Brian Benally, 30, was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Nov. 15, according to jail records.

He was charged on May 17 with a felony count of aggravated assault on a peace officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm along with five petty misdemeanor counts of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Farmington Police officers photographed shell casing evidence on May 10 next to a business on West Main Street. Brian Benally is accused of firing a pistol 25 times in the downtown Farmington area that day.

Benally was shot by four Farmington Police Department officers on May 10 when he allegedly pointed a .40 caliber pistol at an officer in the 100 block of West Animas Street in downtown Farmington.

The defendant is accused of walking around downtown Farmington, firing 25 rounds from the pistol and prompting an exhaustive search from officers before he was shot.

A month later, in June, Benally was still in critical condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

It is unknown when he was discharged from UNM hospital. A hospital spokesperson said that information is covered under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Farmington Police spokesperson Nicole Brown said he was discharged sometime between Aug. 20 and Sept. 6.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office arrested Benally around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at a residence near County Road 7053, south of Farmington near Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, according to spokesperson Kristi Hughes.

Brian Benally is pictured in the circle allegedly pointing a handgun at a Farmington Police officer on May 10 and was shot by four officers at the scene.

Benally being held without bond, faces federal case

The San Juan County District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 23 filed a motion to keep Benally in the county jail without bond while awaiting trial.

The prosecution argued there are no conditions of release to keep the community safe from Benally.

Shellie Patscheck, Benally’s attorney, told The Daily Times they agreed to a no-bond hold to keep him in the area as he also faces a federal case.

Benally’s online jail records show a “Convicted Felon in Poss of Firearm/Ammunition” federal criminal case.

No court documents for Benally were available in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.

FBI spokesperson Frank Fisher said U.S. Department of Justice policy prevents him from confirming or denying FBI investigations.

It’s possible the federal case is still sealed, as Benally has not made any appearances in federal court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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