The New Mexico State Police are one of the very best police forces in the world.The following incident will show how they were able to capture a man after a shootout and detain him alive, it takes a lot of skill to have that kind of professionalism:
New Mexico State police Press Release.
Socorro County, NM – On December 5, 2020, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called to investigate an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) on Interstate 25 (I-25) at about milepost 145, south of Socorro.
Investigators learned that on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at around 11:13 a.m., the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) took an initial report of a burglary at a horse farm that occurred in Veguita, NM. The victim provided SCSO with the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle. The license plate came back to a black Chrysler passenger vehicle registered in Socorro, which led SCSO deputies to an apartment complex in Socorro, however, the vehicle was not there.
At around 2:13 p.m., SCSO deputies went back to the apartment complex and found the vehicle. As they were attempting to locate the suspect’s apartment, a second call came in from the same victim in Veguita advising her vehicle, a white 2017 pickup truck was also stolen. SCSO deputies saw the stolen white pickup truck on a street near the apartment complex. When deputies attempted to make contact with the driver in the truck, he fled prompting SCSO to initiate a pursuit with the vehicle.
The suspect, who was later identified as Richard Zamora (32) of Socorro, NM led deputies on a pursuit in and out of the city, eventually getting onto the frontage road along I-25 southbound. Zamora drove his vehicle off the road near a culvert between the frontage road and I-25 near milepost 145.
Zamora got out of the vehicle with an alcohol bottle and started pouring the contents onto the driver’s side of the vehicle. Zamora also threw rocks towards the deputies. Zamora then set the vehicle on fire and eventually pulled out a handgun. Zamora began pointing the handgun towards the deputies and towards his head. Zamora would continue pointing the handgun at the deputies and back at his head for approximately 15 minutes while pacing back and forth.
A New Mexico State Police sergeant who overheard the pursuit and incident over his patrol vehicle radio arrived on scene to assist. Upon arrival, the sergeant observed the vehicle on fire and observed Zamora holding a handgun. Zamora pointed the gun towards other officers and deputies on scene. The sergeant and deputies gave Zamora commands to put the gun down, but Zamora ignored their commands. The New Mexico State Police Tactical Team and Crisis Negotiation Team were dispatched to assist.
The sergeant and other New Mexico State Police officers and deputies from SCSO safely positioned themselves around the perimeter of the area. The sergeant observed Zamora point his gun towards the officers who were located on the east side of the perimeter, at which point Sergeant Armando Reyes-Llamas fired his issued duty rifle towards Zamora, striking him. Zamora fell to the ground and the gun fell out of his hand. After Zamora was struck by Sgt. Reyes-Llamas’s gun fire, a New Mexico State Police Tactical Team member arrived on scene to assist. While Zamora was on the ground, he was given commands to not reach for the gun which had fallen near him. Zamora continued to ignore the officers’ commands and reached for the gun multiple times. A New Mexico State Police Tactical Team Officer fired two less-lethal bean bag rounds towards Zamora, striking him. The Tactical Team Officer also deployed a less lethal flash bang munition towards Zamora, after he continued to attempt to retrieve the handgun. Once the flashbang was deployed, Zamora finally showed his hands to officers. As officers approached Zamora, he attempted to grab the handgun but was unsuccessful. Officers were able to safely take Zamora into custody without further incident.
Officers on scene rendered first aid to Zamora until Emergency Medical Personnel arrived. Zamora was transported to an area hospital by Emergency Medical Personnel where he was treated for his injuries. Upon his release, Zamora was booked into the Socorro County Detention Center in Socorro, NM. Zamora was charged with multiple counts of Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer, and other charges related to the initial incident investigated by SCSO.
No Officers were injured in the incident. Upon further investigation, Investigators later learned the handgun Zamora was in possession of was a BB handgun.
New Mexico State Police Sgt. Armando Reyes-Llamas was placed on standard administrative leave. Sgt. Reyes-Llamas has been with the New Mexico State Police for approximately 11 years. Upon completion of the investigation this case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review. For details regarding the burglary and the pursuit, please contact SCSO.