Authorities have identified the suspect who was killed in an officer-involved shooting Monday southwest of Aztec as a 36-year-old man from Albuquerque.
Authorities in San Juan County, New Mexico, began receiving calls about a string of break-ins and damage to property around 8 a.m. Monday, according to a statement released late Monday by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.
In two incidents, the suspect allegedly assaulted a homeowner, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
In another instance, a 9-year-old child called to report a man had broken into the home through a window. The suspect possibly took a weapon and ammunition from the residence.
Around 9 a.m., authorities were able to locate an SUV that was reported stolen in connection with the crime spree. The suspect fled at a high rate of speed and then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot near the San Juan County landfill on County Road 3177.
The Sheriff’s Office said the man was located in an irrigation ditch. Despite orders to surrender, the suspect allegedly threatened deputies and said he had a firearm, refusing to show his hands.
“A deputy fired his duty weapon striking the suspect,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the statement. “On scene, law enforcement initiated life-saving measures on the suspect. Medics arrived a short time later, however the subject succumbed to his injuries.”
The suspect has been identified as Marco Antonio Benito.
In an interview with The Durango Herald, Capt. Kevin Burns declined to comment on why the deputy fired at Benito. He said investigators believe the deputy shot three to four times.
Burns said there is body camera footage of the incident from a New Mexico State Police officer who was at the scene. The video was being reviewed, Burns said.
The Sheriff’s Office will likely release the deputy’s name next week, Burns said. He did not know how long the deputy had been with the force. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, Burns said.
The Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is being conducted by the San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Taskforce with the Farmington Police Department Detective Division leading the investigation.
“Our thoughts are with Benito’s family and our deputy during this time,” the Sheriff’s Office said.