Police Blotter: No injuries in police shooting incident


A Socorro County Sheriff’s deputy Wednesday fired at a car theft suspect who attempted to run him over, according to statements by both New Mexico State and Navajo Nation police. Neither the deputy nor the suspect was injured.

The incident, police said, began as a stolen vehicle investigation being conducted by the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office. During the investigation, a Socorro County deputy arrived at the community of Alamo, New Mexico, where the stolen vehicle, a red Chrysler PT Cruiser, was reportedly located. The deputy saw the stolen vehicle, along with the suspect, Leon Gustafson, 46, of Socorro, New Mexico, at the chapter house.

State police state Gustafson got into the PT cruiser and drove the vehicle at the deputy, at which time the officer fired at the vehicle. The suspect was not hit by the gunfire and sped away from the deputy.

Police say during the pursuit, Gustafson crashed the vehicle on New Mexico State Road 169, near Milepost 29, and fled the scene on foot. He was eventually caught and taken into custody by the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office.

State police say Gustafson was wanted on multiple misdemeanor and felony warrants.

The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau is investigating. Navajo police say their officers were not involved in the shooting.
No other information is available at this time.

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run

WINDOW ROCK — New Mexico State Police are investigating a Tuesday evening fatal hit-and-run accident that occurred less than a mile west of the Fire Rock Casino.

According to state police, Tommy Mariano, 85, from Crownpoint, was struck and killed by a 2003 Dodge van driven by Frank Adrian Jiron, 39, of Albuquerque, at about 7 p.m.

Police say Jiron was traveling west on Route 66 when he allegedly struck Mariano, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police state Mariano was walking in the roadway for “unknown reasons” when he was hit.

Police determined Jiron “exhibited signs of being under the influence of an intoxicating substance” and arrested him. He was booked into the McKinley County Detention Center for DWI.
Police continue to investigate the accident.

Murder suspect suspect turns himself in

WINDOW ROCK — A murder suspect wanted in connection with the Jan. 9 fatal shooting of Logan Francisco was arrested after turning himself in to police on Thursday.

According to statement from the Gallup Police Department, detectives from the police department obtained an arrest warrant for Nicholas A. Esquibel, 20, and booked him into the McKinley County Detention Center on charges of murder, tampering with evidence, negligent use of a deadly weapon and shooting at or from a motor vehicle.

Esquibel is accused of shooting Francisco at the Allsup’s Convenience Store in central Gallup.

No other information was provided.

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