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Updated: APD SWAT Officers Cleared in Shooting of Tucumcari Man

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Fatal shooting of 56-year-old after six-hour standoff in Tucumcari last October found justifiable.

The October shooting death of a Tucumcari man by members of the Albuquerque Police Department SWAT team who’d been called in to assist State Police has been ruled a justifiable shooting, 10th Judicial District Attorney Ron Reeves told the Quay County Sun.

“The officers were acting in the line of duty when they had to shoot,” Reeves told the Sun.

Reeves told the paper he reviewed a report which all the information gathered by State Police about the Oct. 18 shooting death of Daniel Gonzales, 56, following a six-hour standoff with police, the Sun said.

“My determination is this was a justifiable shooting,” Reeves said. “I do believe, with the information I reviewed, Mr. Gonzales would have shot and possibly killed more than one officer.”

The initial call around 4 p.m. Oct. 18 was handled by the Tucumcari Police Department until State Police were called in, and State Police then called in the APD SWAT team to assist, the Sun said.

Gonzales appeared at his front door around 10:30 p.m. with shotguns in both hands, threatening officers, and he was killed by shots fired from the SWAT team, the paper reported.

The case remains open pending the receipt of a medical report on Gonzales from the state Office of the Medical Investigator, Reeves told the Sun.

7:10am 10/20/10 — Tucumcari Man’s Neighbors Stunned by ABQ SWAT Fatal Shooting: APD’s eighth fatal shooting of the year took place 170 miles to the east.

An Albuquerque Police Department SWAT team, called in to assist State Police with a domestic dispute that turned into an armed standoff in Tucumcari Monday, fatally shot 56-year-old Daniel Gonzales around 10:30 p.m. Monday after he threatened officers with two shotguns from the front porch of his home, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

It was the eighth fatal shooting by Albuquerque police this year, the Journal said.

Meanwhile, in Tucumcari, local police were unsure of when — or whether — a fatal officer-involved shooting had occurred in Quay County, the Quay County Sun reported.

And people living in Gonzales’ neighborhood all expressed shock and disbelief at the standoff and its violent aftermath, the Sun said.

Evelyn Otero, who lives across the street from Gonzales’ home, told the Sun she had known Gonzales all her life and while she had seen Gonzales and his ex-wife fighting before, she never saw her neighbor display the kind of behavior she witnessed Monday.

Lillian Alarcon, who moved into the neighborhood in 1998, told the paper that Gonzales’ wife would often come to her house and ask for a place to hide.

“She was just totally afraid, but here in Tucumcari, where are you going to go? Yeah, you can go to counseling and all of this, but it’s hard. It hurt me a lot to see her like that,” Alarcon told the Sun.

Gonzales’ family wouldn’t comment, but a family friend told the Sun that Daniel Gonzales’ 65-year-old brother Ray had died last week and was buried on Tuesday, but it wasn’t clear whether that death played a role in Monday’s incident.

Some residents who watched the scene unfold, heard gunshots and saw an ambulance arrive on scene late Monday night wondered why it would be 16 hours before State Police issued a news release about what happened, the paper reported.

“Once the facts of the incident were gathered, they were distributed in a press release to numerous media outlets across the state, as they were also interested in the incident as well,” Lt. Eric Garcia, State Police spokesman, told the Sun. “I will vigorously work in the future to provide information sooner rather than later.”


2:00pm 10/19/10 — Man Fatally Shot by Police in Tucumcari: Shots were
fired by Albuquerque SWAT, ending a standoff of about 6 1/2 hours that
began after a domestic dispute.

A standoff with a man ended after about 6 1/2 hours on Monday when the man was fatally shot by police after threatening officers when he appeared at the front door of a Tucumcari home with shotguns in both hands, the State Police said Tuesday.

The man was identified by State Police spokesman Lt. Eric Garcia as 56-year-old Daniel Gonzales of Tucumcari.

Garcia said in a news release the fatal shots were fired by Albuquerque SWAT, which had been called in after law enforcement officers had responded at just after 4 p.m. Monday to a domestic dispute at the home.

The domestic dispute involved Gonzales and his ex-wife, according to the news release. The woman and grandchildren were able to get out of the home.

When officers arrived, Gonzales refused to come out and cooperate, the news release said. He later came out on the porch armed with a shotgun and then had a pistol, rifles and ammunition.

The news release said during the initial encounter with Gonzales, he pointed a rifle at the officers. The officers took cover and called for State Police Tactical Team members, who request assistance from the Albuquerque Police Department.

A perimeter was set up to await the arrival of the Tactical Team members, including a State Police crisis negotiator, according to the news release. The negotiator spoke with Gonzales for more than an hour an a half on the telephone.

The news release said at about 10:30 p.m. Gonzales came to the front door bearing shotguns in both hands threatening officers and shots were fired by Albuquerque SWAT fatally striking Gonzales.

The State Police Investigations Bureau is conducting an investigating of the incident and will submit its findings to the District Attorney’s Office in Quay County for review, the news release said.