FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows the struggle between an officer and a suspect as, police say, the man grabbed for the officer’s gun. It ended with police firing shots in the halls of a New Mexico hospital.
The officer had been with the DWI and car theft suspect for nearly an hour at the hospital, both of them talking calmly before the suspect made a sudden move that changed everything.
“No. Do not do that. Do not do that,” Farmington Police Officer David Rock is heard on lapel video shouting. “Hey, call for somebody.”
Just a few minutes earlier, he warned suspect, Heriberto Nava-Martinez, “Don’t try and run or anything, okay?”
Officer Rock went with the suspect to the San Juan Regional Medical Center in September after arresting him for DWI and car theft.
“He was in an accident. He ran into a fence,” a paramedic told hospital staff.
“And another car. It sounds like a head-on into another car,” Ofc. Rock added.
Nava-Martinez was moved to a wheelchair, and it appears the officer could not find anywhere to handcuff him.
“There’s really nothing I can do,” he said.
They headed down the hall as the officer took notes.
That’s when, police say, Nava-Martinez tried to take the officer’s gun.
“Help! Help!,” Ofc. Rock said as Nava-Martinez ran. “Stop. Stop.”
A single gunshot can be heard on the video.
“You cannot grab for my gun,” Officer Rock said. “Get down. Get down.”
However, the suspect did not get down and the officer fired two more shots as Nava-Martinez came at him.
When the suspect moved toward the officer again, a Taser finally brought Nava-Martinez to the ground.
“I need help! I need help at the hospital,” Officer Rock said. “I need help now.”
Hospital staff responded as the officer processed what just happened.
“He was trying to get my gun away from me,” Officer Rock said. “I should have known.”
Farmington police said Nava-Martinez was high on methamphetamine and marijuana.
They said they are thankful for his recovery since the shooting.
Farmington Police said the shooting followed procedure.
State police investigated the case and forwarded it to the District Attorney’s office to determine if the shooting was justified.