Farmington police identify man shot, killed in April 9 shooting near East 20th Street

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Police Department has released the name of the man who was shot and killed by Farmington officers on April 9 in a neighborhood near East 20th Street.

Charlie Thompson, of Farmington, was identified in a news release the department issued on the afternoon of April 12.

Thompson, 21, was also named by Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe in a five-minute video that accompanied the news release.

"As chief, I know that incidents like this are emotional for our community, our department and the family and friends of the involved parties," Hebbe said in the video. "While I'm very relieved that none of our officers were injured in this incident, I'm deeply saddened for Mr. Thompson's family and friends."

Previous:Farmington police shoot, kill suspect Saturday afternoon near E. 20th Street

The incident started at about 4:50 p.m. on April 9 when officers attempted to contact Thompson, whom they knew had multiple felony warrants, after seeing him sitting in a vehicle parked in a lot near the 1700 block of East 20th Street, according to the department's April 10 news release.

The shooting occurred in the vicinity of Yucca Avenue and Sage Drive after Thompson allegedly fled officers and pointed a gun at them, the release states.

Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe shows a still capture from an officer's vest camera of officers approaching a suspect who Hebbe said was shot April 9 after fleeing police and refusing to drop a weapon, seen in the red circle in the screenshot.

In the April 12 video, Hebbe reiterated that Thompson was known to officers and had three active arrest warrants that stemmed from various felony charges including child abuse.

Court records show the most recent arrest warrant was issued on April 1 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

The shooting remains under investigation by the San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office taking the lead, Hebbe said.

"Two FPD officers discharged their firearms and are on administrative leave while the investigation continues as is FPD policy," Hebbe said.

The video includes snapshots taken from the officers' body cameras that show Thompson holding an item, which Hebbe described as "the weapon Thompson possessed."

Hebbe explained that the department will release body camera footage after interviews with all involved parties are concluded.

In January, Farmington Police Officer Joseph Barreto was wounded after a man he was attempting to detain shot him.

"Again, I'm very disappointed that our officers had to be involved in another incident so soon after the shooting of Officer Barreto in January," Hebbe said. "However, I don't believe you understand how frequently our officers are confronted with situations such as this."

More:Farmington police identify Elias Buck as man accused of shooting police officer Friday

He added that the incident with Thompson was one of four situations involving firearms that officers responded to from April 8 through April 9.

"Four guns were taken off the streets of our city in just over 24 hours. Three of those four offenders were felons in possession of a firearm," Hebbe said.

While Farmington has not seen a "high surge" in violent crime, there are still far too many people carrying guns who should not be, Hebbe said.

He added that community members must demand more accountability and stricter pre-trial confinement and sentencing for individuals illegally carrying and using guns.

He then called on residents to contact their elected representatives and judges and insist on stronger measures to keep the community safe.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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