Officer-Involved Shooting involving the Espanola Police Department

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Written by Lieutenant Mark Soriano 05/18/2022

Espanola, NM – On Sunday, May 15, 2022, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate an officer-involved shooting involving the Espanola Police Department (EPD).

Agents learned at around 10:08 p.m., the Espanola Police Department (EPD) responded to the Santa Clara Apartments in reference to several vehicle alarms being activated. An EPD officer arrived on scene and patrolled the area. The officer encountered a white GMC pickup and the driver attempted to hide as the officer drove by. The officer radioed for assistance and waited for an additional officer before making contact with the driver of the white pickup. As the officer waited for backup to arrive, the white pickup left the apartment complex. The officer followed the pickup to the Allsup’s gas station in Espanola. As the pickup left the Allsup’s gas station, the officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the pickup, but it didn’t stop, and a pursuit ensued.

The driver, later identified as Miguel Matthew Montoya Jr. (30) of Espanola, drove into a business parking lot and struck a concrete parking bumper. As EPD units approached the pickup, Montoya drove towards one of the EPD units and struck it. At that time, an EPD officer fired his duty weapon at Montoya who continued to flee in the pickup. The vehicle pursuit came to an end at 613 West Chamisa Street in Espanola. Montoya exited the pickup and a short foot pursuit ensued. During the foot pursuit, an EPD officer deployed a taser and took Montoya into custody. Montoya was not struck by gunfire.

Montoya was booked into the Rio Arriba County Detention Center. He was charged with Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer. At the time of the incident, Montoya had an active felony warrant for Aggravated Battery on a Peace Officer, Attempt to Commit a Felony, to wit: disarming a Peace Officer, Shoplifting, and Resisting, Evading, or Obstructing an Officer.

The name of the officer involved will not be released until the interview is completed. No officers were injured during the incident. For questions regarding the administrative actions of the officer, please contact the Espanola 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, investigative 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.

Any available updates on this investigation will be posted online at