Farmington, NM- On December 14, 2020, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate a police shooting involving the New Mexico State Police, the Farmington Police Department, and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.
At approximately 9:23 a.m., the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office (SJCSO) responded to a 911 hang-up call at County Road 3939 in Farmington, NM. When deputies arrived on scene, they met with the victim, who reported her boyfriend kicked in her door and struck her with a handgun. The suspect, who was identified as William Hernandez (46) from Kirtland, NM, left the residence in a green Ford Expedition armed with a handgun. An attempt to locate was broadcasted to all state and local law enforcement agencies.
A SJCSO deputy observed the Ford Expedition on Bloomfield Highway between Farmington and Bloomfield. The deputy lost sight of the vehicle. A short time later, another SJCSO deputy located the green Ford Expedition traveling on Wildflower Parkway near Murray Drive in Farmington. The deputy turned his patrol vehicle around, got behind the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle fled and a pursuit was initiated.
During the pursuit, two SJCSO deputies overheard the pursuit on their police radios. Both deputies assisted in the pursuit by deploying tire deflation devices, which the driver of the vehicle avoided by driving around the devices.
A New Mexico State Police Officer who also overheard the SJCSO pursuit and the attempt to locate broadcast, assisted in the pursuit after the vehicle was located.
The Expedition continued to travel on Murray Drive until it came to a stop in front of the Life Care Center of Farmington. Hernandez barricaded himself with other occupants inside the vehicle. At that time, SJCSO deputies conducted a felony traffic stop with the assistance of New Mexico State Police Officers and a Farmington Police Department (FPD) officer. The SJCSO deputies and the New Mexico State Police officers positioned themselves behind the vehicle while a FPD officer positioned himself facing the front of the Expedition. During the felony stop, deputies and officers observed four occupants in the vehicle. Deputies and officers gave verbal commands to the occupants of the Expedition. A male driver exited the Expedition and was taken into custody without incident. During this time, a rear male occupant got into the driver seat and a female occupant exited the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident. Deputies and officers continued to give verbal commands to the remaining occupants in the Expedition when they observed Hernandez who was seated in the right front passenger seat, armed with a handgun and a knife. Deputies and officers observed Hernandez point the handgun at the head of the male sitting in the driver’s seat. Hernandez lowered the handgun, then raised the handgun a second time towards the male driver’s head. At that time, four SJCSO deputies along with New Mexico State Police Officer Nathan Oliver and Farmington Police Officer Navid Babadi discharged their department issued firearms towards Hernandez, striking him.
Deputies and officers continued to give commands to the remaining occupants to exit the vehicle. The male occupant in the driver’s seat exited the Expedition. Deputies then approached the Expedition and found Hernandez in the right front passenger seat with a handgun and a knife in his lap. Hernandez sustained fatal injuries. The other male occupant in the Expedition sustained minor injuries and was transported by medical personnel to an area hospital.
New Mexico State Police Officer Nathan Oliver was placed on standard administrative leave. Officer Oliver has been employed with New Mexico State Police for approximately 5 years and 5 months. Farmington Police Department Officer Navid Babadi has been employed with FPD for approximately 6 years. For administrative inquiries regarding the FPD officer, please contact FPD. At the request of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the identities of the deputies involved will not be released by State Police. Please reach out to SJCSO regarding their deputies who were involved. For information on the domestic violence call on County Road 3939 please reach out to SJCSO. Upon completion of the State Police investigation this case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.