Jul. 14—Newly released video shows the slow pursuit late June 23 that prompted Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies to open fire on 32-year-old Nathan Roybal on Siler Road, leaving him dead on the street.
New Mexico State Police, which is investigating the shooting, said in a news release June 24 the deputies' pursuit of a man suspected of stealing a truck lasted several minutes before the man stopped the truck at the intersection of Siler Road and Rufina Court. "A male suspect got out of the vehicle, pointed a black handgun at the deputies. Deputies fired at the suspect, striking him," the release said.
The deputies' video footage, first obtained by KRQE-TV, portrays a different series of events.
It shows deputies ordering Roybal to get out of the stopped truck. He doesn't comply and instead waves his arm outside of the truck while holding something in his hand and then appears to fire a shot. A few seconds later, deputies open fire, riddling the truck with bullet holes.
When the gunshots stop, Roybal gets out of the truck, drops a gun next to it and begins to run. The deputies open fire again, killing him.
The deputies had encountered Roybal around 11 p.m. on a nearby street in a black Ford Ranger that had been reported stolen. Roybal also had been accused earlier that day of pointing a gun a woman when she ordered him to leave her home and leading another pair of deputies on a chase.
After realizing he is being followed by a deputy, who is flashing his lights, the video shows, Roybal begins swerving from one lane to the next. He then shifts the truck into reverse and moves backward toward the deputy's vehicle.
"He's reversing the vehicle on me," the deputy says.
The video shows Roybal continuing to travel slowly in reverse around a traffic circle. He eventually shifts back into drive and turns onto Siler Road, and then stops near Siler and Rufina Court.
The deputy in a vehicle behind Roybal uses an expletive as he orders Roybal, by name, to get out of the truck.
Roybal sticks his head and both arms out of the driver's side window.
Video taken from another deputy shows Roybal may have fired one shot.
Within seconds, deputies opened fire on the vehicle.
Another deputy can be heard yelling, "Shots fired! Shots fired!" as the bullets tear through the air.
Whether Roybal was hit in the initial barrage of gunfire is unclear.
The second round of shots, as he is running across the street after dropping a gun, were fatal.
Three deputies advance on Roybal's fallen body, the video shows. One, noting the handgun lying on the street near the truck, says, "There's a weapon there."
People who work at nearby businesses told The New Mexican his body was still lying in the street when they arrived for their jobs around 9 a.m. the next day.
State police have little information about the fatal shooting, one of four in the Santa Fe area in a two-week period. The agency has declined to identify the slain man or the deputies involved in the shooting.
A sheriff's office report of incidents earlier June 23 name Roybal as the suspect killed that night.
The episode began around 9:30 a.m., when the sheriff's office received a call from a woman on Lopez Lane who said she was being stalked by Roybal — who had a criminal history dating to 2007, according to court records. The woman told emergency dispatchers he had pointed a gun at her, the report says.
When deputies arrived at the home, they saw a black Ford Ranger heading out of the neighborhood and began to follow it. As Roybal fled them, he drove into oncoming traffic, through stop signs, onto a curb and on the wrong side of the road, the report says.
An arrest warrant for Roybal was issued that morning on charges of aggravated assault and resisting an officer, the report says.
Later that day, it states, he was killed by other deputies in a shooting, and the warrant was voided.