Update: State Police Investigate OIS Involving Los Lunas Police Department

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Written by Officer Ray Wilson 02/03/2021


Valencia County, NM – On Monday, January 25, 2021, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate a police shooting involving the Los Lunas Police Department (LLPD).

State Police investigators learned that on January 25, 2021, at around 8:05 a.m., LLPD officers conducted a traffic stop on a blue Ford Expedition parked near the intersection of South Camelot Boulevard and Morris Road in Los Lunas, NM. As officers approached the Expedition, they observed a male, later identified as Jerry Yalch, 40, of Los Lunas, NM armed with a handgun inside the vehicle. Yalch refused to exit and barricaded himself inside his vehicle. A short time later, Yalch got out of his vehicle and a foot pursuit ensued.

Yalch led LLPD officers on a foot pursuit across Interstate 25 and into an open field. During the foot pursuit, Yalch turned towards the pursuing officers and discharged his handgun towards them. LLPD officers Cutter Gouker, Vicente Martinez, and Sergeant Anthony Baca each fired their department issued firearms. Yalch was struck by gunfire and taken into custody. Officers rendered medical aid to Yalch until emergency personnel arrived. Yalch was airlifted to an area hospital where he is being treated for injuries that are believed to be non-life threatening. Upon his release, he will be facing criminal charges, including three counts of Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer, one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Tampering with Evidence, and Resisting, Evading, or Obstructing an Officer.

No officers were injured during the incident. Sgt. Anthony Baca has been with LLPD for 11.5 years and has 13 years of law enforcement experience. Officer Cutter Gouker has 23 months experience with LLPD, and Officer Vicente Martinez has been with LLPD for 6 years and has 10 years of law enforcement experience. For information regarding the duty status of the officers involved, please contact LLPD.

This investigation remains active and is being led by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau. Upon completion of the investigation, this case will be given to the district attorney’s office for review.