Sunland Park, NM – On February 24, 2023, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested to investigate an officer-involved shooting involving a Sunland Park police officer.
State Police Investigations Bureau agents learned that on February 23, 2023, at around 11:50 p.m. the Sunland Park Police Department responded to 113 Calle Diaz in Sunland Park for an intoxicated male who was later identified as forty-two-year-old Leonardo Hernandez, who resides at that address. Officers learned Hernandez had been in a verbal argument with two individuals at the residence.
While officers were investigating the allegations, Hernandez presented a handgun. At this point in the encounter, at least one Sunland Park police officer fired at least one round from his duty weapon. Hernandez was struck by the gunfire and transported to a hospital in El Paso where he was later pronounced deceased.
The Sunland Park Police officers involved were not injured and will not be identified by the New Mexico State Police. For information on their duty status or administrative actions taken, please contact the Sunland Park Police Department.
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 appropriate 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.