State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting in which Otero County sheriff’s Deputy Fernando Vizcarra fatally shot Apolanto Torrez, a 58-year-old Chaparral man, who was allegedly trying to abduct a 4-year-old child Thursday morning, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
State Police Lt. Eric Garcia said the deputy got into a physical altercation with Torrez after he found the Chaparral man walking from the area of the alleged abduction, then used a Taser on the suspect who continued to fight, the Daily News said.
“The deputy shot Torrez in the chest which subsequently Torrez died as a result of the wound he sustained,” Garcia said. “The deputy was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the State Police investigation.”
Garcia said Vizcarra received minor injuries during the fight with Torrez and was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces for treatment and was released, the paper reported.
Vizcarra is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is being conducted by the State Police with help from the Dona Ana County Officer Involvement Shooting Team, the Daily News said.
According to a report of the incident in the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Otero County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 9:30 a.m. Thursday about a threatened child abduction on Mesilla Road in Chaparral and when the deputy who responded tried to talk to Torrez, the suspect became physically confrontational.
“There’s evidence the suspect may have gained access to the deputy’s baton,” Garcia told the Sun-News. “A physical fight and confrontation continued, and the deputy then utilized deadly force.”
Garcia told the Sun-News he didn’t know how many shots the deputy fired.
The community of Chaparral straddles Dona Ana and Otero counties, just north of El Paso.