A 30-year-old man suspected of impersonating a security guard, stealing a car and firing at law enforcement officers died early Wednesday as a result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the second officer-involved shooting in Roswell in less than a year.
In body camera video released by the Roswell Police Department Wednesday afternoon, the suspect, Shayne Romero, 30, of Peralta, can be seen firing at a Roswell police officer, who returns fire, striking Romero. After being struck, Romero apparently turned his gun on himself and shot himself once in the head.
The police video shows Romero exiting the Motel 6 on North Main Street, talking to an officer while handing him a pocket knife and then fleeing on foot as the officer commands him to come back.
While fleeing, Romero apparently fires three shots in the direction of the yet-unidentified Roswell police officer. The officer takes cover behind a pickup truck and fires five shots in the direction Romero is running, while yelling, “shots fired, shots fired.”
“Another officer arrived on the scene and gave repeated commands to the suspect to give up his gun,” said Todd Wildermuth, spokesperson for the Roswell Police Department. “The suspect instead put the gun to his own head and fired a shot.”
According to a news release issued by RPD, Wildermuth said Romero was shot once in the shoulder area and once in the leg, causing him to collapse on the sidewalk of Berrendo Road, which boarders the hotel property.
After Romero collapses face down on the sidewalk, officers continue to command that he drop his weapon, the video shows. Refusing to do so, footage apparently shows Romero shooting himself in the head.
Emergency medical personnel were called in and determined Romero was alive and transported him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday. Romero was inside the Motel 6 in the 3300 block of North Main Street when the officer approached the suspected stolen car, which the officer had determined was stolen from Albuquerque.
“The suspect, wearing a security guard uniform that investigators believe did not belong to him, exited the building, walked up to the officer standing behind the stolen car, spoke briefly with the officer and then started to walk away,” Wildermuth said in the news release. “When the officer told him to remain where he was, the suspect started to run away and the officer pursued him.”
Police said a woman in the stolen vehicle fled the scene.
“A passenger, believed to be female, was seen by the officer in the stolen car while it was parked outside the motel’s front door where the officer encountered it,” Wildermuth said. “That subject disappeared during the foot pursuit and shooting involving the male suspect and officer.”
Romero’s identity was released by police Wednesday afternoon after police notified his next-of-kin.
Later Wednesday, police identified the woman in Romero’s car as Lexi Montanez of Los Lunas. Police said they want to speak with Montanez. Anyone with information about her whereabouts was asked to call the RPD at 575-624-6770.
A joint investigatory team involving RPD, the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police is investigating the incident as standard protocol for any shooting involving an officer. The two involved officers, the one who fired his weapon, as well another officer who arrived to find the suspect on the sidewalk, have been place on administrative leave, another part of standard protocol following such an incident.
Wednesday morning’s officer-involved shooting follows the Easter morning police shooting of Robert Guerin, 33, who was shot and killed by a Roswell police officer at his home at 710 S. Aspen Ave. while Guerin wielded a shotgun during a 22-minute standoff with police. Police said Guerin was warned 47 times to put the weapon away before he was shot and killed.
A Roswell man shot and killed by police while wielding a shotgun at his home early Easter morning had high levels of methamphetamine and alcohol in his body during the standoff with police, according to his autopsy.
Staff writer Bethany Freudenthal may be contacted at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or email@example.com.
The Roswell Police Department has released the following police body camera video of an officer-involved shooting early Wednesday. Police say an officer was checking on a stolen vehicle at a local motel when the suspect opened fire. The suspect, 30-year-old Shayne Romero of Peralta, was pronounced dead shortly after the shootout, of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, after reportedly being shot by police in the shoulder and leg. Police said Romero was wearing a security guard uniform that did not belong to him. The two Roswell police officers who responded to the scene were not injured. The audio in the video is delayed for 30 seconds. Viewer discretion is advised.
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