N. Mexico police killed homeowner at the wrong house
Newly released body camera video of the April 5 shooting shows police officers in New Mexico shot and killed an armed homeowner when they realized they were at the wrong address just before the front door opened. Afterwards, he exchanged gunfire with his wife.
Robert Dotson, 52, was killed by police on April 5 in Farmington, New Mexico, after officers responding to a domestic violence report arrived at the wrong home.
The Farmington Police Department released multiple videos on Friday, including footage captured by body cameras worn by three officers who opened fire.
Police Chief Stephen Hebbe said in a statement accompanying the release, “Once again, I would like to extend my condolences to the Dotson family. As your Chief of Police, I am deeply sorry that this tragedy has occurred. I would like to tell you what I think.
A lawyer representing the Dotson family was not available for comment Saturday.
In this video, a police officer knocks three times on a door decorated with an Easter Bunny, announcing that the police will be there in about a minute and a half. While waiting, two police officers discuss whether the address is correct and laugh when they realize the mistake.
Seconds before the door opened, one of the officers cursed and backed away. An officer shouts “Hands up!” and the video shows Dotson raising what appears to be a handgun before the officers open fire, dropping him in the doorway.
Dotson’s wife is soon heard yelling “Oh my God!” A policeman mutters “Please stop” and another shot is fired. Authorities said she fired at the officer, who fired back instead of attacking her.
Dotson’s wife, who was unaware of the shooting at police, was not charged, officials said. According to the released video, three children were upstairs at the time of the shooting.
Police have not released the names of the officers involved who were given paid leave while state police investigated the incident.
Hebbe said the Dotson family and their lawyers watched the video before it was released.
(Reporting by Joseph Axe, Editing by Nick Zieminski)