Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department today released video from the officer-involved shooting that took place on May 18 on U.S. Highway 64. Police Chief Steve Hebbe released the following statement about the incident, “Mr. Light’s actions endangered countless citizens as he drove recklessly through the city and ultimately crashed into multiple vehicles. We are very relieved no lives were lost during this incident. When the officer attempted to contact Mr. Light at the crash scene, he made the decision to charge the officer while armed, giving the officer less than a few seconds to make a decision. Although the investigation remains ongoing, preliminary indications show our officer acted within policy and was forced to take necessary action to protect his life and the lives of others.”
San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop 39-year-old Lamar Light of Albuquerque when he was seen driving recklessly at a high rate of speed in the Kirtland area. A deputy pursued the vehicle until it approached the west Farmington city limits, at which time the deputy terminated the pursuit given the apparent danger to the public.
Light continued driving through the city, running red lights and nearly causing several crashes. The vehicle was eventually reported to be on U.S. Highway 64, continuing its dangerous driving. Farmington Detective Chris Blea was working an overtime patrol assignment and responded to the area to help search for the vehicle. Light was then reported to have struck multiple vehicles and construction material on U.S. Highway 64 near Andrea Drive. Detective Blea was the first officer at the crash scene. When he arrived, witnesses pointed to the driver, later identified as Light, who was leaving the scene on foot. As the officer approached and began giving Light orders, he turned and advanced toward the officer with a knife in his hand. The officer retreated while ordering the subject to drop the knife. Light climbed over the barrier toward the officer and advanced several feet. He then began to run with the knife in his hand toward the officer. The officer fired two rounds and the suspect fell to the ground. The officer rendered aid to the suspect before medics arrived and transported him to the San Juan Regional Medical Center. He was eventually flown to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque where he remains.
Detective Chris Blea joined FPD in December 2010 as a lateral from Los Lunas. He is a 12-year law enforcement veteran.
No further information will be released on this incident until the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has completed their investigation and the District Attorney’s Office has finalized their review.