#officerinvolvedshooting #policeshooting #SanJuanCountySheriffsOffice
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, NM
An officer-involved shooting that took place on August 31 resulting in the death of 36-year-old Marco Benito of Albuquerque. The shooting took place off County Road 3177 following a series of criminal events.
At approximately 7:50am, local law enforcement agencies started getting reports of crimes being committed with a stolen Dodge Ram truck with a trailer. Later, a black SUV was also stolen and was also used to commit crimes at residences, all in the area of Southside River Road. These crimes included forced entry burglary and larceny while the victims were still in their homes, one of which had a 9-year-old boy home alone. Deputies with the San Juan County Sheriff’s office located the suspect, later identified as Benito, around 8:39 a.m. in the stolen SUV and followed him until he pulled off the road, abandoned the vehicle and hid in an irrigation ditch.
Deputies and officers located Benito and gave him numerous verbal commands to surrender. Benito threatened deputies and officers stating he had a firearm and refused to show his hands. Benito’s actions and body language became more aggressive making law enforcement believe he was going to brandish a firearm and become an immediate danger to deputies, officers and the public. A deputy fired his weapon striking Benito in the torso. Once the scene was deemed safe, law enforcement immediately removed him from the water and initiated life-saving measures. Medics arrived a short time later, however, Benito succumbed to his injuries.
Law enforcement searched the scene and located items reported stolen earlier in the day. A firearm was not located. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that one deputy fired his weapon in accordance with San Juan County Sheriff’s Office policy.
Benito had an active warrant out of Bernalillo County for failure to appear on a burglary with forced entry charge and an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for criminal damage to property out of Illinois. His criminal history includes charges of Possession of Firearm by a Felon, Battery on a Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest, Burglary, Larceny and Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle. He is also a known member of Albuquerque’s 18th Street Gang.
Sheriff Shane Ferrari issued the following statement, “Across our nation the public is asking for more transparency when it comes to police use of force in officer involved shootings. I want to thank you for your patience as our Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force and my office investigated this incident. To the Benito family I offer my condolences and I ask our community to be respectful of the family. It is not easy losing a loved one, regardless of the circumstances. To the victims of that morning’s crimes, I know that some of you have lost some security. But I want to give you my commitment that the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and area law enforcement stay committed in protecting our community against violent offenders.”
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