Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 3/28/2022
This update gives additional details that led up to the shooting.
Torrance County, NM – On February 24, 2022, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate a police shooting involving the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO).
Agents learned at approximately 1:36 a.m., two TCSO deputies responded to a vehicle stuck in the snow on County Road A102 near Monica Lane in Edgewood, NM. Upon arrival, the deputies made contact with a black Infiniti passenger car parked off the roadway. Deputies met with a female who was standing next to the vehicle, and a male subject, later identified as Andrew Castellano (34) of Las Cruces, NM, who had exited the vehicle from the driver’s side. During the encounter, Castellano became evasive and walked away from the deputies. As Castellano walked away towards the middle of the roadway, he began to reach into his front pocket. Deputies gave numerous verbal commands to Castellano to stop reaching into his pockets. Castellano ignored the commands, reached into his waistband, brandished a firearm, and pointed the firearm at a TCSO deputy. At that time, both TCSO deputies fired toward Castellano. Castellano was struck by the gunfire. Deputies immediately rendered aid to Castellano. Castellano succumbed to his gunshot injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
No deputies were injured during the incident. The identification of the deputies involved will not be released by the New Mexico State Police. For information on the TCSO deputies, their duty status, and administrative actions, please contact TCSO.
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents work to independently determine the series of events that led up to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings are 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.