Carlsbad, NM – On January 29, 2023, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested to investigate an officer-involved shooting in Carlsbad involving the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and Carlsbad Police Department.
State Police agents learned at around 1:54 p.m., the Eddy County Fire Department responded to the 2000 block of Mora Street for a vehicle fire. The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office also responded to assist with the fire. While on the scene, Eddy County Sheriff’s deputies recognized the homeowner as Christopher Bell (29). Mr. Bell had an outstanding no-bond warrant for his arrest.
When deputies approached Mr. Bell, he barricaded himself inside the residence. As deputies attempted to enter, they heard what sounded like gunshots coming from inside the residence. An Eddy County deputy fired at least one round from his duty weapon at the residence. The deputies set up a perimeter and additional resources were notified.
The Eddy County Regional Swat Team arrived and verbal commands were given to get Mr. Bell to come out of the residence peacefully. Mr. Bell refused to come out and chemical munitions were deployed. As another attempt was made to enter the residence, deputies heard more of what sounded like gunfire. At this point, a Carlsbad Police officer fired at least one round from his duty weapon at the residence.
The door to the residence was eventually breached and officers gave verbal commands to Mr. Bell to exit the residence, but he refused. Mr. Bell armed himself with what appeared to be a sledgehammer. A taser was successfully deployed, and Mr. Bell was taken into custody.
Mr. Bell was transported to an area hospital where he is being treated for injuries believed to be non-life-threatening. No officers were injured during this incident.
The Eddy County Sheriff’s deputies and Carlsbad Police officers involved will not be identified by the New Mexico State Police. For information on their duty status or administrative actions taken, please contact their respective departments.
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 a factfinder in its cases and does not determine whether an officer’s actions 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.