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State Police identify officer, deputy, involved in shooting

NM State Police identified the officer, and Taos County deputy, who shot an armed man to death in Penasco, NM two weeks ago.

Lt. Elizabeth Armijo said Taos County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shana McTague, and State Police Officer Anthony Perez, both fired their weapons during a Nov. 25 standoff with 39-year-old Nelson Rodarte. Rodarte died at the scene.

She said the incident began when Taos County Sheriff’s deputies, along with State Police, went to a domestic violence call around 8 a.m. on Santa Barbara Road.

Rodarte had barricaded himself inside a trailer and, when responding deputies went inside, they found him with a rifle, Armijo said.

She said deputies left the trailer for their own safety and began to set up a perimeter. Soon after, Rodarte was spotted on the roof, lying in a prone position, with a rifle in his hands.

The shooting began after Rodarte began aiming the rifle at police and deputies, Armijo said.

McTague fired first, shooting at Rodarte once, she said. When Rodarte didn’t go down and still had his rifle aimed at law enforcement, Perez fired one shot–then another.

Armijo said the second of Perez’s shots “appeared to stop” Rodarte.

“Rodarte was fatally struck by gunfire,” she said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, holding a loaded rifle in his hands with a loaded revolver in his pocket.

Armijo said the incident remains under investigation.

“At the completion of this investigation this case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney for review,” she said.