New Mexico State Police are investigating a shooting by Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies that left a suspect dead near Siler Road and Rufina Street late Wednesday night.
It was the second fatal shooting by a law enforcement officer in Santa Fe that day.
On Wednesday morning, Santa Fe police shot and killed a man on a downtown street filled with tourists. The man had been suspected in a shooting earlier in the downtown area and had fled on foot, authorities said.
State police are investigating both incidents.
In a news release Thursday afternoon, the agency said deputies had encountered a stolen black Ford Ranger truck, and the driver had tried to strike a patrol vehicle, prompting an unsuccessful pursuit. The driver evaded the deputies.
Around 11 p.m., state police said, another deputy identified the stolen truck and tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled again. Following a chase, state police said in the news release, the stolen truck stopped at the intersection of Siler Road and Rufina Court. A man got out of the truck, pointed a handgun at the deputies, and they fired several shots back, striking the man and the truck.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene by the state Office of the Medical Investigator.
The Ford Ranger later was towed away with at least seven bullet holes in the windshield.
Shattered glass and a pool of dried blood could still be seen on Siler Road after investigators finished clearing the scene.
State police have not yet released the identity of the slain man or the names of the deputies involved in the shooting.
Employees at the Hadley’s Car Wash across the street from where the man was killed said Siler Road was shut down when they arrived for work at 9 a.m.
“We could still see the body,” said one employee, who declined to give his name. “And the cop cars had a bullet hole, and that Ford Ranger had 10 bullet holes.”
It was at least the third fatal shooting by officers in the area this month.
On June 8, Española police shot and killed a man sitting in a vehicle in Ranchitos Park.
They had been responding to a request for a welfare check and found 38-year-old Louis Nathan Leyba of Española in the car with a woman. Leyba began to drive backward, dragging Officer Derrick Valdez, state police said in a news release Thursday, providing new details of the incident.
When Leyba ignored officers’ commands to stop the car, they shot at him, state police said. He was transferred to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The woman, who also was struck, was treated at the hospital and released.
The last shooting involving a Santa Fe County deputy was a just over a year ago.
Deputies were called to home off U.S. 84/285 on June 9, 2020. A woman at the home said in an interview her son Aldolfo Chavez, now 44, was intoxicated and wielding knives.
When deputies went inside, Chavez came out of a bathroom unarmed, an affidavit said. After the deputies asked if he had any knives, he went back in the bathroom and came with two large kitchen knives.
He was asked to drop the knives but refused and moved toward the deputies, who fired two shots at him and attempted to tase him, the affidavit said. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and later faced charges in the incident.
Two days earlier, a Santa Fe police officer shot 33-year-old Joseph Galassini in the parking lot of the Big R Farm and Ranch Supply store on St. Michael’s Drive. He was accused of striking a man with a machete and threatening two officers who responded to a report of the incident.
He was arrested after receiving hospital treatment for his gunshot wound.