August 13, 2022
This update corrects the name of the deceased male, Gabriel Mesa.
Carlsbad, NM – On August 11, 2022, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested to investigate an officer-involved shooting in Carlsbad, NM involving the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO).
Agents learned that at approximately 7:21 p.m., the ECSO responded to a domestic violence incident at 4019 Jones Street in Carlsbad. The reporting person stated her boyfriend, Gabriel Mesa (48) of Carlsbad, NM, was intoxicated and they got into a verbal alteration. During the altercation, the victim told deputies Mesa took her cellphone and a handgun from inside the residence before pushing her out of the way and leaving.
When ECSO deputies arrived at the residence, they searched the area for Mesa. After receiving a tip, they located Mesa in an open field near 3908 West Texas Street. During the encounter, two ECSO deputies gave Mesa numerous verbal commands to surrender peacefully, which he ignored. Mesa reportedly brandished a firearm and pointed it towards officers. At that time, two ECSO deputies discharged their department-issued firearms toward Mesa, striking him at least once. After the shooting, both deputies rendered aid to Mesa until the arrival of emergency medical personnel. Mesa succumbed to his injuries and was later pronounced dead.
No officers were injured during the incident. The names of the deputies involved will not be released by the New Mexico State Police. For information about the domestic violence incident, the identities of the deputies involved, and the administrative actions of the deputies, please contact the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.
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.