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Bernalillo County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a man they say shot at a deputy 2½ weeks ago.
No one was injured in the shooting.
Ryan Dunn, 44, was arrested on Friday. He is charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer and prosecutors have asked that he be held pending trial.
The public was not informed of the shooting until Monday, breaking from the practice of other local law enforcement agencies which typically inform the media – and therefore the public – of such incidents shortly after they occur.
The incident occurred the night of May 27 as a deputy was driving eastbound on Interstate 40 in a marked patrol unit. A black truck began to “drive recklessly” around her, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, and it stayed in front of her as she turned onto southbound Interstate 25.
The deputy worried that the other driver was trying to “bait” her into conducting a traffic stop so she and other deputies made a plan for the other deputies to pull it over near the Sunport.
The deputy exited at Gibson, but an unrelated vehicle was in the way and so the truck could not change lanes to follow her, according to the complaint.
“The black truck stayed on the freeway and as the deputy began to drive off the off ramp, at least one gunshot was fired at the deputy’s patrol vehicle,” a detective wrote in the complaint. “This incident was recorded on the dashcam of the unit.”
The deputy tried to turn around and give chase but the truck got away.
Investigators examined the area the next day and found “one defect on the guard rail with a copper jacket of a missile underneath the defect” and “multiple defects in the dirt that appear to be where bullets had impacted the dirt.”
BCSO spokeswoman Jayme Fuller said she can confirm that multiple shots were fired.
“However, the exact number will not be released until Dunn has had his detention hearing, which has not happened yet,” Fuller said.
The dashboard camera video showed the suspected vehicle was a Toyota Tundra with aftermarket tires, black rims and silver door handles, according to the complaint. It was found the following day abandoned near the South Broadway neighborhood and towed away by a property owner.
Deputies visited the tow yard and executed a search warrant – finding a shell casing, “multiple firearms, cellphones, the Nevada drivers license of Ryan Dunn and narcotics,” according to the complaint. The truck’s Nevada license plate was registered to Dunn.
When the detective called Dunn he said his truck had been stolen along with his wallet and cellphones. However, deputies pointed out holes in his story including that he flew home to Nevada using a credit card with a photo of him on it as an ID and that he took Spirit Airlines – which does not fly out of the Sunport.
Dunn later claimed he had been surrounded by vehicles driven by “whites, Mexicans and reds” and they had forced him off the freeway and then forced him out of the truck at gunpoint.
On June 7, detectives analyzed his cellphone records and found that both his cellphones were in the area of the shooting at the time it occurred, according to the complaint. The description the deputy gave of the man who shot at her matched Dunn.
Doug Wilber, Dunn’s public defender, said while it’s very early on in the case, it’s important to remember that although the allegations are serious, they are just allegations.
“He’ll be represented by me throughout the process so we’ll be careful to make sure that his rights are upheld in whatever court hearings there are,” Wilber said.
In response to a question about why the public was not notified of the shooting earlier, Fuller – whose title is sheriff transparency and public information coordinator – said, “This individual tried to potentially murder one of our deputies. We take this very seriously. Our priority was to maintain the investigation’s integrity, which led to the successful apprehension of this dangerous offender.”
Fuller added that it appeared the Journal is “constantly asking why we don’t notify the public” and she accused reporters of wanting a press release in order to “get the scoop first.”
“In light of this, this is the last time we are going to address the issue,” Fuller wrote in an email. “We release information in a time and manner that we determine when it is feasible to do so and in the overall interest of both justice and the public interest.”
The Journal has previously reported that the agency let months go by without alerting the public about two homicides that occurred in its jurisdiction.