Written by Lieutenant Mark Soriano 08/03/2021
Silver City, NM – On Sunday, August 1, 2021, at approximately 8:35 p.m., the New Mexico State Police Investigation Bureau was requested by the Silver City Police Department (SCPD) to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation.
The preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 7:47 p.m., a SCPD officer conducted a traffic stop on a black GMC Suburban near the intersection of Market Street and Texas Street for no insurance. Upon approach of the vehicle, the driver identified as Ruben De La O, 36 years of age, pointed a firearm at the officer and fired at least one time at him. As the officer retreated for cover, De La O fled the scene in his vehicle. Another SCPD officer observed the vehicle travelling south on New Mexico Highway 90 headed towards Lordsburg, New Mexico. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle fled, and a pursuit was initiated.
During the pursuit, De La O fired multiple times at pursuing officers. At some point during the pursuit, a SCPD officer fired his department issued rifle at De La O. The pursuit came to an end on New Mexico Highway 90 around mile marker 3 near Lordsburg, NM. De La O was taken into custody without further incident.
De La O was not struck by gunfire and the initial officer was injured on his left hand. De La O was booked into the Grant County Adult Detention Center on a probation and parole warrant and will be facing additional criminal charges.
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration. The New Mexico State Police acts solely as fact-finders in its cases and does not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters. That decision rests with the district attorney’s office.