Farmington police officer shot, wounded Friday night

Neighborhood around shooting scene shut down as SWAT teams searched for suspect

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – Area law enforcement officers turned out in large numbers and shut down a neighborhood after a Farmington police officer was shot and wounded by a gunman Friday night.

The shooting happened in the vicinity of N, Fairview Avenue and N. Tucker Avenue in Farmington.

The police department did not immediately identify the officer.

SWAT teams from the Farmington Police Department and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office were deployed to search the area, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said via a Facebook video as the search continued.

Members of the Farmington Police Department SWAT team stage outside a residence on North Fairview Avenue on Jan. 8 as they search for a suspect who shot and injured an officer the previous night.

Area residents were advised to shelter in place as officers deployed to create a perimeter between E. Main Street and 20th Avenue in the area in an attempt to capture the shooter.

The manhunt was ongoing at 2:24 a.m. Saturday as a helicopter circled the search area. The state SWAT team was also en route, police said in a second video early Saturday.

SWAT teams left the area "and the shelter in place is lifted," the police department announced Saturday afternoon on its Facebook page. "Detectives and other investigators are still in the area. A video statement from Chief Hebbe and City Manager Rob Mayes will be released later this afternoon."

 Details of exactly when and where the shooting happened were not yet available.

Farmington Police Lt. Guy Postlewait and Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe speak to the public in a video released as law enforcement officers on the evening of Jan. 7 searched for a suspect in the shooting of a Farmington police officer.

Hebbe said the officer had stopped a suspect in connection with an intoxicated driving incident Friday night.

“The suspect produced a gun and fired at our officer,” Hebbe said in the video. “Obviously we’re looking feverishly for the suspect.” 

A Sheriff’s Office helicopter was requested to aid in the search Friday night and into early Saturday as SWAT teams deployed.

A video posted at 2:44 a.m. on Jan. 8 stated the New Mexico State Police SWAT team was enroute to the scene.

Nearly all of North Fairview Avenue was shut down on the morning of June 8. Officers blocked traffic on the south end near East Main Street and north toward the United States Post Office.

Patrol vehicles and the Bearcat SWAT vehicle were staged outside the residence in the 1800 block of North Fairview Avenue, just south of the United Pentecostal Church at 1900 N. Fairview Ave.

Just before noon, some SWAT members and officers started to search the Jumbo Mini Storage at 908 N. Tucker Ave.

Around the same time, three SWAT members and a K9 officer used the ladder on a Farmington Fire Department firetruck to access the roof of the shuttered Golden Dragon restaurant at 2324 E. Main St.

A Farmington Police Department K9 officer and members of the SWAT team search the roof of the shuttered Golden Dragon restaurant on Jan. 8 at 2324 E. Main St. as they search for a suspect accused of shooting and injuring an officer.

That was the location where members of SWAT, officers and firefighters staged as they continued in search of the suspect.

Officers roped off a portion of the Carl's Jr. parking lot at 2300 E. Main St. to preserve evidence, including tan boots and a tan hat.

“This is what our officers face. These are the dangers they face,” Hebbe said in the video. “So right now you’ve got dozens of officers out… searching for the suspect, trying to find somebody who’s already shot at our guy, and who already hit our officer, and we’re just lucky that he wasn’t killed. 

“These are the challenges that our officers face every night to keep our community safe,” Hebbe continued. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and with his family, and then with all the officers that are right now actively searching, trying to find this bad guy.”

Hebbe said he spoke with the officer, who he said is in good condition. "He's in good spirits. He's going to remain in the hospital overnight. His wife is with him."

Hebbe told The Daily Times police believe they have located the suspect's vehicle.

The McDonald's restaurant at Tucker and Main streets donated 100 cheeseburgers to officers responding to the situation, Hebbe said in a video posted early Saturday morning.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com. Joshua Kellogg contributed to this story.

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