Called to a domestic dispute, officers from the Farmington Police Department fatally shot a 52-year-old man after they mistook buildings and entered the wrong house. The circumstances of the man’s death are currently being clarified by the New Mexico services.
As the police themselves admit, Robert Dotson was not the subject of the call that officers were supposed to respond to, which ended in a tragic way. “This is a terrible incident for which I am deeply sorry,” Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a statement posted on social media. He explained that on Wednesday, April 5, around 11:30 p.m. local time, a report was received about a domestic dispute at 5308 Valley View Avenue. Upon arrival, officers “mistakenly headed for 5305 Valley View Avenue instead of 5308 Valley View Avenue” which was across the street.
Officers shot Robert Dotson
According to Chief Hebbe’s account, after no one answered the knock on the door, the police contacted the dispatcher, who would then call the caller and ask them to leave the building. Before that happened, however, Robert Dotson had already opened the door of his own home to the officers. The man was armed.
“What followed was a chaotic chain of events,” Hebbe said. As he explains, one of the policemen started shooting towards Dotson, as a result of which the 52-year-old died on the spot. State police said Dotson’s wife began a firefight with officers after hearing the shots, but when she realized “those outside her property were police officers, she put the gun down and followed their orders.”
Neither the wife of the shot man nor the police officers involved in the shooting were injured in the course of it. At the moment, it is not yet known how many officers were at the scene or how many of them fired shots. It is also not clear whether Robert Dotson opened fire on officers before he was fatally shot by them. The circumstances of the incident are currently under investigation by the New State Police Mexico. A lot can be explained by the records from police cameras, which – as CNN writes – are to be made public in the coming days.
Main photo source: Farmington Police Department – New Mexico