The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has identified a man fatally shot outside his Sandia Park home yesterday as 54-year-old John Chavez and the deputy who shot him as J. Beasley.
A news release from sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Williamson said Beasley has been with the BCSO since 2010, but the release did not include his first name.
Shortly before 5 p.m., BCSO received reports that a man, later identified as Chavez, was threatening suicide at his home in the 300 block of La Madera Road, Williamson’s news release said.
Several deputies responded to the reports, the release said, including at least one who was trained in crisis intervention. One of the crisis negotiators began a dialog with Chavez while other deputies surrounded the house. Some of those deputies were armed with less-lethal weapons.
During the negotiations, Chavez went inside his home and came back out with a “high-powered rifle,” the release said. He went inside the home a second time and emerged with a second rifle.
The negotiations began to break down, according to the release, so the BCSO commander in charge of the incident decided to pull all responding deputies back and reassess the situation.
“As deputies were retreating, Chavez took one of his rifles and pointed it at the retreating deputies,” Williamson wrote in his news release. “Fearing an immediate lethal threat to the retreating deputies, Deputy J. Beasley … fired a single round striking Chavez in the torso.”
Chavez died at the scene, according to the release.
Beasley is on paid leave, which is standard, while a team composed of officers from BCSO, the Albuquerque Police Department, State Police and the District Attorney’s Office investigate the shooting.
We’ll update this post as soon as we got more information.