Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 1/27/2022
Rio Rancho, NM – On January 26, 2022, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested to investigate an officer-involved shooting in Rio Rancho, NM involving the Rio Rancho Police Department (RRPD).
Agents learned that at approximately 10:30 p.m., the RRPD responded to a domestic violence incident at 4668 Platinum Drive NE in Rio Rancho. The reporting person stated her son, John Paul Romero (42) of Rio Rancho, was armed with a knife and harming family members inside the residence.
When RRPD officers arrived at the residence, they encountered Romero armed with a knife. At some point during the encounter, two RRPD officers discharged their department-issued firearms, striking Romero. Romero was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator.
The reporting person and another family member were both transported by emergency medical personnel to an area hospital for injuries believed to be non-life-threatening.
No officers were injured during the incident. The names of the officers involved will not be released by the New Mexico State Police. For information about the domestic violence incident, the identities of the officers involved, and the administrative actions of the officers, please contact the Rio Rancho Police Department.
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, investigation findings will be shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration.
The New Mexico State Police acts solely as factfinders 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. This incident remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.