For Immediate Release
April 6, 2023
Farmington, NM – On April 6, 2023, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested to investigate an officer-involved shooting involving the Farmington Police Department.
State Police agents learned that on April 5, 2023, at around 11:30 p.m., the Farmington Police Department received a call for a domestic violence incident occurring at 5308 Valley View Avenue. Officers with the Farmington Police Department responded to the area.
Once on scene, officers mistakenly approached 5305 Valley View Avenue instead of 5308 Valley View Avenue. Officers knocked on the front door of 5305 Valley View Avenue and announced themselves as Farmington police officers. When there was no answer at 5305, officers asked their dispatch to call the reporting party back and have them come to the front door.
Body camera footage shows as the officers backed away from 5305 Valley View Avenue, the homeowner, Robert Dotson, 52, opened the screen door armed with a handgun. At this point in the encounter, officer(s) fired at least one round from their duty weapon(s) striking Mr. Dotson.
After the initial shooting, Mr. Dotson’s wife, also armed with a handgun, fired from the doorway of the residence. Once again, officer(s) fired. Once she realized that the individuals outside the residence were officers, she put the gun down and complied with the officer’s commands.
Mr. Dotson suffered fatal injuries as a result of the shooting and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator. Mrs. Dotson, who was uninjured, has not been charged with a crime.
The Farmington 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 Farmington Police Department. For information on the outcome of the original domestic violence call at 5308 Valley View Avenue, please contact the Farmington Police Department.
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau works independently to determine the series of events that led up 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 act solely as factfinders in their cases and do 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.