Santa Fe police say a two-hour SWAT operation in a downtown neighborhood Tuesday afternoon began after 49-year-old Jason Elliott got into a confrontation with a man parked in handicapped-accessible spot at a gallery near his home.
According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, Elliott had confronted the man outside Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers on Camino del Monte Sol, just off Canyon Road.
He then went into his nearby apartment and grabbed a shotgun, the complaint says.
He is accused of firing a single round into the air, which hit a tree and caused branches to fall close to where the man was standing, police say in the document.
Elliott has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and negligent use of a weapon, as well as one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Residents and visitors in the area said police swarmed in after the shot was fired around 3 p.m., including SWAT officers in protective gear who were carrying automatic rifles.
Police set up road barriers and urged people in the neighborhood to take cover while officers tried to persuade Elliott to come out of his home on Acequia Madre, not far from the intersection with Camino del Monte Sol.
The criminal complaint says Officer Daniel Lopez and Sgt. James Plummer, who were stationed near the vehicle outside the gallery, heard a shot fired during the operation and took cover.
The officers then saw Elliott flee in an SUV, the complaint says.
Another officer saw the vehicle turn onto Canyon Road and then onto Palace Avenue, according to the complaint.
Elliott was arrested at Patrick Smith Park.
While he initially denied he had fired a weapon, the criminal complaint says, Elliott eventually confessed to shooting two rounds in the air.
Santa Fe County Magistrate David Segura set interim conditions for Elliott’s release from jail, but the District Attorney’s Office filed a motion for a 24-hour continuance. This gives the office more time to investigate whether it will file a motion seeking to keep Elliott incarcerated without bond until his trial.
Elliott was scheduled to appear Thursday in Magistrate Court.