Agencies investigate officer-involved shooting

October 29, 2013 • Local News

Roswell had another officer-involved shooting, Monday night, when officers from the Roswell Police Department received a call about a subject driving around town who was armed and potentially suicidal.

Officers contacted the man, Richard Johnson, near the Town Plaza Apartments, 1201 W. McGaffey St.

According to police daily records, Johnson shot at the officers. Officers returned fire.

Sgt. Cruz Zavala was shot on the breastplate of his police-issue armor and sustained a minor injury. He was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Johnson, 35, was [auth] also struck by gunfire. According to the RPD press release, Johnson was flown to Lubbock for further medical treatment and underwent surgery.

A multijurisdictional team, comprised of the RPD, New Mexico State Police and the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, was in meetings all day while investigating the incident. Several officers were involved.

The RPD release stated: “Officers involved in the incident are on administrative leave per standard Roswell Police Department policy.”

Zavala’s name is confirmed. The other officers’ names have not yet been released.

Meanwhile, a cloud of fear has descended upon the city, after two confirmed murders, two officer-involved shootings and bombs found within the city limits in a single week.

One woman reported she had a police scanner and was getting it out so she could keep track of things.

Another said she had wanted to go out to get something to eat and decided against it because she felt it was not safe.

Another person said she saw on Facebook that not one but two people were killed in the Monday-night officer-involved shooting.

In the absence of real information often rumors replace fact.

Mayor Del Jurney said: “I don’t want to minimize anything. We have had a rash of tragic circumstances. I’m proud of our police department.”

He noted that the incidents that have occurred in Roswell and Chaves County have found their reflection across the state and urged people to be proactive in helping the police.

Republican mayoral candidate Dennis Kintigh expressed his sympathy for local law enforcement. “They are tired, not only from the long hours, but stress and working in a state of high tension.”

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