Farmington police release footage from officer involved shooting

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.

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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.

Farmington police shoot armed man

Farmington, N.M. – The San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force is investigating a shooting of an armed man by Farmington officers.

Numerous 911 calls were made yesterday regarding a male shooting a gun in downtown Farmington. The calls came in around 2:23 p.m. from witnesses in the area who heard shots and saw two men walking, one had a gun.  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 and were able to get screenshots showing identifiers.  A shelter in place was issued for public safety. 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 male pointed a gun at and walked towards one of the officers, and four officers fired. Officers immediately rendered aid to the man 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 incident remains under investigation, and further information will be provided as it becomes available. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the primary investigating agency, at 505-334-6107.

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank the public for their vigilance and swift reporting. We’d also like to thank the businesses that were quick to provide video as we worked to locate the suspects and keep our community safe.  

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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.

You can view Chief Hebbe’s video statement at https://youtu.be/VQRpHllgo_o

Farmington police recognize citizen for brave actions

Farmington Police Department Chief Steve Hebbe awards Shannon Begay with the Outstanding Citizen Award on 4-13-21

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police recognized Shannon Begay today with the Outstanding Citizen Award for her brave actions while helping a fellow citizen.

On March 21, 2021, around 5:36 a.m., Ms. Begay heard gunshots outside her apartment, followed by a man calling for help. She rushed outside and found a man with a gunshot wound to his arm. Ms. Begay immediately applied pressure to his injury and called 911 for assistance. She tended his wound and stayed with him until officers arrived. The man attempted to stop thieves from stealing his motorcycle parked in front of the apartment building while armed with a .22 caliber pistol. One of the subjects bear-hugged the man from behind, forcing the gun into his arm as the gun went off. The subjects left the scene immediately after the gun was fired. The man was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he was treated. The case is still under investigation by Farmington detectives.

Ms. Begay says she was quick to jump into action after attending active shooter training with Farmington Police Department’s District Coordinator Unit through her employer. She credits the training she received from Officer Michele DeLese for helping her “mind go there, so her body could follow.” One of the officers who responded to the call had the opportunity to meet Ms. Begay later at a tabletop training and hear her story. Officer Zack Wood then nominated Ms. Begay for the Outstanding Citizen Award. FPD is honored to recognize Ms. Begay for her actions and bravery. 


Any businesses interested in the FPD DCU officers bringing the active shooter training to their employees can contact Officer Robert Decker via email at rdecker@fmtn.org to arrange COVID-19 safe classes. The DCU officers will begin training that is open to the public again at a later date, depending on COVID-19 precautions.

Farmington Police seeking information on multiple vandalism cases

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police are seeking information on multiple property damage cases. Since March 1, 2020, Farmington Police Department has received numerous similar damage reports to parked vehicles and buildings.  

The damage appears to be caused by subjects shooting a bb gun or airsoft pellet gun from a vehicle. Detectives are canvassing areas where damages are reported for evidence and leads. The property damage is primarily occurring in the neighborhoods near Sunset Ave. but has happened in other areas as well. Farmington detectives ask residents who have a home or business security camera to check their footage for possible suspect information.

Citizens can file property damage reports by calling dispatch or through FPD’s online reporting system. A Detective Division sergeant reviews each online report and any attached photos and videos; it is then assigned to a detective accordingly. All information and tips can be called into the Farmington Police Tip Line at 505-599-1068.

Farmington police arrest man wanted out of Minnesota

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police arrested Dale Francis Boyum Walters on warrants issued out of Minnesota yesterday evening. Minnesota police advised they’ve been searching for 37-year-old Walters for two years. 

Around 12:20 p.m. on March 4, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Corrections Fugitive Unit reached out to the Farmington Police Department about Walters possibly being in the area. FPD officers worked to verify the information and locate Walters. Through investigation, officers found that Walters had a felony warrant for a parole violation on the original charges of two counts of disarming a police officer and a second felony warrant for possession of child pornography. Several officers coordinated to contact Walters and arrest him safely. Walters was taken into custody at approximately 4:51 p.m. and will be extradited to Minnesota. 

To report tips like this, please contact the FPD Tip Line at 505-599-1068.

Farmington police arrest man following stabbing

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police arrested a man following a stabbing outside the Animas Valley Mall yesterday evening.

Around 6 p.m. on February 22, 2021, security officers for the business called for police to assist them with a man threatening others with a knife. Later identified as 46-year-old Raymond Willie, the man had been aggressive with other customers and security while inside the mall. Willie purchased a knife from a business and then exited the mall and began threatening bystanders. Security approached Willie and contacted the police for assistance. Before officers arrived, a citizen attempted to help the security guard disarm the man by approaching Willie from behind and wrapping his arms around him. Security pepper-sprayed Willie as he began to stab the citizen who was assisting. Officers arrived and immediately began rendering aid to the citizen and disarming and detaining Willie. The citizen was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center where he was treated and is now in stable condition. Raymond Willie is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Multiple law enforcement agencies assist in locating kidnapped child

Farmington, N.M – Several law enforcement agencies assisted Farmington police in locating a 3-year-old child earlier this morning.  

On February 3, 2021, around 6:30 p.m. Destinee Sweeney and her girlfriend had a verbal altercation in the Walmart parking lot on E. Main St., resulting in her partner walking away from the vehicle for a few minutes. Sweeney drove away with her girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, Ava Spicer. After attempting to persuade Sweeney to return the child for some time, Spicer’s mother contacted Farmington police at approximately 8:17 p.m. Officers obtained information on the child, Sweeney, and the vehicle they were last seen in and issued an attempt to locate. After Sweeney made statements threatening the child’s safety, New Mexico State Police issued an Amber Alert. Through investigation, officers gained information on Sweeney and the child’s possible location at a house on County Road 4029 in the Middle Mesa area of Navajo Lake. San Juan County Sheriff’s Office deputies, NMSP, and FPD officers responded to the area. Working together, they were able to locate Ava Spicer safely and arrest Sweeney around 2:19 a.m. Sweeney was charged with kidnapping and intimidation of a witness. 

Farmington Police Department thanks SJCSO, NMSP,  La Plata County Colorado Sheriff’s Office, and Southern Ute Police Department for their assistance in bringing this incident to a peaceful resolution.

Farmington police searching for teen suspected in auto theft

Farmington, N.M – Farmington police are searching for 18-year-old Alex Arnold of Farmington in relation to a stolen auto case.

On January 28, 2021, around 7:46 a.m. a woman reported her car had been stolen from her driveway on Hopi St. She had left the vehicle running to warm up for approximately four minutes, and when she returned it was gone. Officers scoured the area but were unable to locate it. Later that same day, around 1:05 p.m., a San Juan County Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted the stolen vehicle while patrolling. The driver of the car, later identified as Arnold, attempted to evade the deputy. An FPD sergeant saw the vehicle a few minutes later running a red light and driving recklessly. The sergeant activated his emergency lights to attempt to pull the car over, when it parked in an apartment complex parking lot. Arnold and a female got out of the vehicle and began running in opposite directions. Officers weren’t able to locate Arnold in the area. Arnold has a warrant on charges of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer, tampering with evidence, possession of burglary tools, and other charges. 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Alex Arnold is encouraged to call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622.

Farmington police identify man in officer involved shooting

Farmington, N.M. – Today, Farmington police identified the man who was shot Wednesday, January 20, as 46-year-old Humberto Vasquez from Farmington.

On January 20, around 9:47 a.m., the Farmington Police Department responded to a man, later identified as Vasquez, armed with a gun breaking into neighboring apartments and battering residents in the 1000 block of Glade Lane. As officers arrived, Vasquez barricaded himself inside his apartment and began breaking out the windows. He eventually tossed a gun and magazine out of one of the broken windows and started to pour gasoline over himself and the inside of the apartment. Officers began evacuating the neighboring apartments and continued to negotiate with him. Vasquez stepped out of the apartment and threw a bottle containing gas at the officers before going back inside. Later, he exited the apartment again, and as he threw a Molotov cocktail at them officers fired. Officers immediately rendered aid to him and called for paramedics. He was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he is now  stable and recovering. There were no other injuries at the scene. The Farmington Fire Department quickly mitigated the fire hazards at the location.

The incident remains under investigation, and further information will be provided as it becomes available. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the primary investigating agency, at 505-334-6107.

Farmington police looking for suspected arsonist

Farmington police are searching for 38-year-old Daryl Levi in connection to a string of fires.  Thirteen dumpster fires and one vehicle fire occurred between December 17, 2020, and January 11, 2021. Farmington Fire Department fire investigators and FPD detectives found them to be arson. Five of the dumpster fires took place on the evening of January 11, 2021, beginning around 9:19 p.m.

Investigators identified Levi as the suspect through business surveillance and body camera footage from officers who contacted him near the fires on January 11. A warrant was subsequently issued for Daryl Levi for five counts of arson.

The nine other fires remain under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Farmington Police Department Tip Line at 505-599-1068.