UPDATE: Police Shooting Involving Torrance County Sheriff’s Office

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Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 04/02/2021

UPDATE: Police Shooting Involving Torrance County Sheriff’s Office

This update identifies the deputies involved and additional details that led up to the shooting.

Bosque Farms, NM- On March 16, 2021, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate a police shooting involving the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office. At approximately 2:07 a.m., the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and Mountainair Police Department responded to a 911 call at the Rock Motel located at 901 U.S. 60 in Mountainair, NM. The reporting party, who was later identified as Joshua Francis (28) of Oklahoma, told dispatch he had a female held hostage, wanted officers to kill him and that he would kill officers. When deputies arrived at the Rock Motel, they located a 28-year-old female from Oklahoma, lying on the ground in front of one of the motel rooms. The female did not sustain any injuries and was treated and released by emergency medical personnel at the motel. Deputies also observed a silver 2009 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck leaving the scene. When deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the Chevrolet, the vehicle fled, and a pursuit was initiated.

TCSO pursued Francis who, traveled west on U.S. 60 exceeding speeds of 100 mph. During the pursuit, Francis drove in the opposite lane of travel and drove through numerous red lights and stop signs. Francis stopped at a railroad crossing near mile marker 2 on State Road 47 and barricaded himself in the vehicle. TCSO deputies conducted a felony stop. During the felony stop, deputies gave numerous verbal commands to Francis to exit the vehicle. Francis ignored the deputies commands and refused to exit the vehicle. After a train passed, Francis fled in the vehicle, and deputies continued to pursue him. TCSO requested the assistance of the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO). VCSO deployed tire deflation devices at mile marker 17 on State Road 47. Francis drove over the tire deflation devices and continued to travel north on State Road 47. A TCSO Sergeant who joined the pursuit, utilized a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to attempt to bring the vehicle to a safe stop on State Road 47 near State Road 6. Francis continued to travel north on State Road 47. Another PIT was utilized by the TCSO Sergeant near Peralta Boulevard. The vehicle continued to travel on State Road 47 and after a third PIT, the vehicle came to a stop on top of a curb in the roadway near the intersection of State Road 47 and South Bosque Loop. As TCSO deputies attempted to block the Chevrolet in with their police vehicle, Francis accelerated his vehicle towards the TSCO police vehicle with an object in his hand. At that point, TCSO Deputy Pablo Arreola discharged his department issued weapon through the front windshield of his police vehicle towards Francis. The Chevrolet crashed into the TCSO police vehicle and began to push the police vehicle backwards. Deputy Arreola discharged his firearm a second time towards Francis after exiting his police vehicle. Upon the TCSO Sergeant exiting his police vehicle, he heard gunshots and observed Francis accelerating the vehicle towards the deputies. TCSO Sergeant Jordan Duran discharged his department issued weapon towards Francis. Francis was struck at least once. TSCO deputies gave verbal commands to Francis to exit the Chevrolet. Francis exited the Chevrolet and was taken into custody without further incident.

Deputies rendered aid to Francis on scene. He was transported by emergency personnel to an area hospital in Albuquerque.

On March 17, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued for Francis for two counts of Aggravated Battery Upon a Peace Officer with a Deadly Weapon. Upon his release from the hospital on March 19, Francis was arrested on the arrest warrant.

Sergeant Jordan Duran has been employed with the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office for approximately 4 years 9 months and Deputy Pablo Arreola for approximately 1 year 10 months. For information regarding the incident at the Rock Motel and administrative inquiries regarding the TCSO sergeant and deputy, please reach out to TCSO. Upon completion of the State Police investigation this case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.