Written by Officer Ray Wilson 01/27/2022 Updated 02/09/2022
This update identifies the officer involved and provides additional details that led up to the incident.
San Miguel County, NM – On January 26, 2022, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate an officer-involved shooting (OIS) involving a New Mexico State Police officer on Interstate 25, milepost 340 near Romeroville, NM.
Agents learned that on January 26, 2022, at around 5:30 p.m., a New Mexico State Police officer on patrol in San Miguel County attempted to make a traffic stop on a 2003 black Lexus passenger car near Romeroville. The suspect, later identified as Paul Mares, 43, of Santa Fe, failed to stop for the officer, fled north on Interstate 25 and a pursuit ensued. A second NMSP officer, Officer Adam Vigil arrived to assist.
During the pursuit, officers performed a pursuit intervention technique (PIT maneuver), which brought the suspect vehicle to a stop on Interstate 25 southbound near milepost 340. As officers tried to take Mares into custody, he drove his vehicle in reverse towards Officer Vigil.
Officer Vigil, who was attempting to exit the driver-side door of his police unit, fired his duty weapon striking Mares. Mares’ vehicle hit the driver’s-side door of Officer Vigil’s police unit, and then stopped a short distance later. Mares was taken into custody by officers and transported to an area hospital. He was later airlifted to a trauma hospital in Albuquerque for treatment of his injuries.
Two female passengers, who were with Mares, were uninjured, detained, and questioned. New Mexico State Police will not identify the two passengers unless they are charged with a crime. At the time of the incident, Mares had outstanding warrants for failure to appear on charges of Resisting, Evading, or Obstructing a Police Officer and Reckless Driving.
Mares was charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer with a Deadly Weapon (3rd-degree felony), Aggravated Fleeing a Police Officer (4th-degree felony), 2 counts of False Imprisonment (4th-degree felony), Criminal Damage to Property (4th-degree felony), Driving While License Revoked and Failure to Stop at an Intersection. Upon his release from the hospital, he was booked into the San Miguel Detention Center in Las Vegas, NM.
Officer Vigil has 8 years of law enforcement experience and has been with NMSP for 4 years. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents work to independently determine the series of events that led to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigation findings are shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration.