Deputy named in Siler Road shooting also killed suspect in 2017

·3 min read

Jul. 15—New Mexico State Police on Thursday named three Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies involved in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Nathan Roybal on Siler Road late June 23.

The agency said Deputy Leonardo Guzman, who also was involved in a 2017 shooting as an officer with the Santa Fe Police Department, first encountered Roybal in a truck on West Alameda Street and tried to pull him over. Instead, Roybal led Guzman on a pursuit to Siler Road, where Roybal stopped the truck, brandished a gun and was killed a few minutes later from shots fired by Guzman, Cpl. Chris Zook and Deputy Jacob Martinez.

Roybal had led another pair of deputies on an unsuccessful pursuit earlier in the day after he was accused of pointing a gun at a woman on Lopez Lane who had asked him to leave her home, the sheriff's office said in an incident report.

Deputies on other shifts were alerted to be on the lookout for him and his black Ford Ranger.

State police spokesman Ray Wilson said in a news release the three deputies who fired at Roybal later that night saw him "point and discharge a handgun towards them" from outside the driver's side window of the truck. The three deputies then fired back at him, the release states.

Dashboard camera video of the incident released Wednesday shows the deputies firing about 20 shots at the Ford Ranger, riddling it with bullet holes.

Wilson wrote in the news release, "Roybal got out of the vehicle armed with the handgun. Roybal brandished the handgun towards deputies, who again fired at Roybal. Roybal was struck by gunfire and succumbed to his injuries."

However, the series of dashcam videos from the deputies' patrol vehicles shows Roybal dropped the gun immediately after he got out of the truck. He began running across Siler Road and was fatally struck the deputy's bullets as he was fleeing, mostly with his back to them.

Wilson wrote in the news release that Zook has nine years of law enforcement experience and has been with the sheriff's office for six years and that Martinez has 11 years of experience and has been with the office for six months.

He writes that Guzman has 10 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the sheriff's office for eight years.

However, sheriff's office spokesman Juan Ríos wrote in an email that Guzman joined the office in March 2019 and previously was employed with the Santa Fe Police Department.

State police have said the truck Roybal was driving had been reported stolen. The agency said in the news release Thursday the sheriff's office learned the vehicle had been stolen. Ríos said, however, the sheriff's office was not aware the vehicle was reported stolen and that state police must have discovered that in their investigation.

Wilson has not responded to questions about the discrepancies in the news release.

Santa Fe Police Chief Andrew Padilla confirmed Guzman was an officer with the city force in 2017 and fatally shot Andrew James Lucero, 28, in a driveway near Eldorado after Lucero led police on a chase in a stolen car.

Video of the incident showed that as officers were trying to apprehend Lucero, he jumped into a patrol car and started moving it forward.

Authorities said Guzman had gotten dragged by the car and struck a tree before firing a round at Lucero.

A committee of five district attorneys from around the state formed later in 2017 found Guzman had acted lawfully.

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