San Miguel County, NM- On July 22, 2022, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate a police shooting involving the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office.
Agents learned at approximately 8:00 a.m., the Chavez County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was involved in a vehicle pursuit on U.S. 285 with a male suspect driving a silver Ford passenger car. The male suspect was identified as Dion Isaac Lueras Ortiz (24) of Albuquerque, NM. The pursuit was canceled by CCSO near Vaughn, NM, as the vehicle continued north on U.S. 285.
The New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office (SMCSO) were contacted to assist. An NMSP officer located Ortiz traveling north on U.S. 54 near milepost 224. The officer began following Ortiz who continued northbound, eventually traveling northbound on US 84, where Ortiz accelerated away from the NMSP officer at a high rate of speed. Another NMSP officer assisted with deploying tire deflation devices on U.S. 84 near milepost 99. Ortiz drove over the tire deflation device but continued to travel north on U.S. 84. Two SMCSO deputies positioned themselves on U.S. 84 near milepost 103, south of Romeroville. As the vehicle approached the two SMCSO deputies, they deployed a tire deflation device. Ortiz drove over the tire deflation device and came to a stop a short distance away. Ortiz exited the vehicle from the driver’s side and threw an object toward the two SMCSO deputies. Both SMCSO deputies discharged their department-issued handguns toward Ortiz. Ortiz was not struck by gunfire, only the vehicle was struck. Ortiz was taken into custody without further incident for three warrants, including two misdemeanor charges of violation of a restraining order and a felony charge of aggravated stalking.
No deputies or officers were injured during the incident. The identification of the deputies involved will not be released by the New Mexico State Police. For information regarding the SMCSO deputies, their duty status, and administrative actions, please contact SMCSO.
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.