Farmington, N.M. – Today, the Farmington Police Department released video of the officer-involved shooting on May 10 near the intersection of West Animas Street and Orchard Avenue Chief Steve Hebbe released the following statement about the incident, “Our officers should be held to the highest standard and their actions critically reviewed. I know an event like this affects the community, the department, our officers, and the subject’s family and friends. The San Juan County Regional Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force investigation remains active. However based on the facts as we currently understand them, the officers’ actions were necessary.”
On May 10 at around 2:23 p.m., numerous 911 calls came in from witnesses in the downtown Farmington area who heard shots and saw two men, one who was armed with a handgun, walking nearby. Officers followed leads as they were being reported and found spent bullet casings and an empty ammunition box where the suspects were reported to have been seen. Officers also viewed security camera footage at a business and saw two men who matched the descriptions reported. Another 911 call came in around 4:15 p.m. reporting shots heard in the area of the 100 block of W. Animas St. The officers made contact with the subjects, one of them later identified as 29-year-old Brian Benally. Benally pointed a gun at and walked towards one of the officers as they approached, and four officers fired. Officers immediately rendered aid to Benally and called for paramedics. He was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center and eventually to Albuquerque, where he is currently being treated. There were no other injuries at the scene. The four officers are on administrative leave, which is the routine procedure of the Farmington Police Department.
The officers involved in the incident are Officer Miles Mead, who joined FPD in 2016, Officer Stephen Frazier, who joined FPD 2018, Officer Nathan McPherson, who joined FPD 2018, and Officer Zachary Goar, who joined FPD in 2020. All the officers began their law enforcement careers with the Farmington Police Department.
No further information will be released on this incident until the task force has completed their investigation and the District Attorney’s Office has finalized their review.
The video can be found on Farmington Police Department’s Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
The San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force is comprised of investigators from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police, and the Farmington, Aztec, and Bloomfield Police Departments. The task force works in a coordinated effort to thoroughly investigate officer involved shootings of San Juan County law enforcement agencies.