Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Noise disturbance turns into officer-involved shooting


A noise complaint call led to a shooting at a hotel in Gallup early Wednesday morning.

According to Gallup Police Department spokeswoman Capt. Erin Toadlena-Pablo, Gallup police officers were dispatched to Comfort Inn, which is in north Gallup near Walmart, about “loud banging” heard in one of the hotel rooms.

Toadlena-Pablo said officers “subsequently observed what appeared to be bullet holes in the room door.”

“Patrol officers initially made contact with an adult male who was the sole occupant of the room,” Toadlena-Pablo said.

Officers assessed the scene to call the police department’s SWAT, or emergency response team, said the captain.

The emergency response team arrived at the hotel and attempted to contact the unidentified man, said Toadlena-Pablo. The man did not respond to the officers, she added.

The emergency response team determined that another person might be in the hotel room and broke into it.

Toadlena-Pablo said the man disobeyed police officers’ commands.

A witness familiar with the incident said officers breached the room because they determined possible hostages there.

Toadlena-Pablo did not respond to a request for a comment if officers were responding to an alleged hostage call. Though she did say there were no other people in the room.

Police then used “less lethal measures,” Toadlena-Pablo said.

During an attempt to physically detain the man, a police officer discharged a firearm, allegedly shooting and wounding the man in his lower leg, said Toadlena-Pablo.

The man was transported to a local hospital then released.

Toadlena-Pablo said the New Mexico State Police is currently investigating the shooting incident. State police would be providing further information.

An official familiar with the shooting said several Gallup police officers had been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Toadlena-Pablo verified police officers involved in the alleged shooting were placed on administrative leave. She didn’t specify how many were placed on leave.

No other citizens or officers were injured.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero, an award-winning Diné journalist, served as a photographer, reporter and as assistant editor of the Navajo Times until March 17, 2023.


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