The New Mexico State Police were called Saturday afternoon by the Socorro County Sheriff’s Department following a pursuit that led deputies to a stand-off that closed off a section of Interstate 25 near San Antonio.
According to a press release, officers with the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau learned that on Saturday, Dec. 5, at around 10 a.m., deputies from the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office took an initial report of a burglary at a horse farm that occurred in Veguita. The victim of the burglary provided the Sheriff’s officers with the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle. The license plate came back to a black Chrysler passenger vehicle registered in Socorro, which led deputies to an apartment complex in Socorro. However, the vehicle was not there.
At around 12:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies went back to the apartment complex and found the vehicle. As they were attempting to locate the suspect’s apartment, a second call came in from the same victim in Veguita advising her vehicle, a white 2017 pickup truck was also stolen. Deputies spotted the stolen white pickup truck on a street near the apartment complex. When deputies attempted to make contact with the driver in the truck, he fled, and a pursuit with the vehicle was initiated.
The suspect, identified as Richard Zamora, 32, of Socorro. led deputies on a pursuit in and out of the city, then eventually got onto the frontage road along Interstate 25 southbound. The suspect drove the vehicle off the road and ended up in a culvert between the frontage road and the interstate near the San Antonio exit at milepost 145.
Zamore got out of the vehicle with an alcohol bottle and started pouring the contents onto the driver’s side of the vehicle. Zamora also threw rocks at the officers and deputies. The suspect then set the vehicle on fire and eventually pulled out a handgun. Zamora began pointing the handgun towards the officers and towards his head. He continued pointing the handgun at the officers and back at his head for approximately 15 minutes while pacing back and forth.
This is when the officers requested the assistance of the New Mexico State Police.
State Police Uniform officers arrived and the New Mexico State Police Tactical Team and Crisis Negotiation Team were dispatched to assist.
Officers gave commands to the driver to put the gun down, but Zamora continued to disobey the commands.
Officers and deputies positioned themselves on either side of the culvert. The suspect pointed his gun towards officers on the east side of the culvert, at which point a New Mexico State Police Sergeant fired his duty issued rifle towards the suspect, striking him.
The suspect fell to the ground and the gun fell out of his hand. Zamora was given commands to not reach for the gun, but he continued to disobey the officers’ commands and reached for the gun. A second State Police officer fired less-lethal munitions towards the suspect.
The suspect was eventually secured, and officers rendered first aid. He was transported to Socorro General Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. Upon his release, Zamora was booked into the Socorro County Detention Center in Socorro, NM. Zamora was charged with multiple counts of Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer, and other charges related to the initial incident.
No Officers were injured in the incident. Upon further investigation, Investigators later learned the handgun Zamora was in possession of was a BB handgun.
New Mexico State Police Sgt. Armando Reyes-Llamas was placed on standard administrative leave. Sgt. Reyes-Llamas has been with the New Mexico State Police for approximately 11 years. Upon completion of the investigation this case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.