New Mexico State Police are investigating an incident in which Farmington Police Department officers shot and killed a homeowner after responding to a domestic violence call at the wrong address. The shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The three officers involved are now on paid administrative leave pending a review of the case.
The officers knocked on the front door of the wrong house and identified themselves as police officers. When there was no answer, they asked dispatchers to call the reporting party back and have them come to the front door. When Robert Dotson, the homeowner, opened the door armed with a handgun, the officers retreated and fired. The man’s wife then fired from the doorway, and the officers fired again. After realizing the individuals outside her home were police officers, the woman put down her gun.
The State Police Investigations Bureau released a statement on Thursday, detailing how body camera footage shows the chaotic scene and the homeowner opening the screen door armed with a handgun. The officers retreated and fired, and the man’s wife returned fire from the doorway. The homeowner, identified as Robert Dotson, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe called it a dark day for the police force and for the family of the homeowner. He said that it was an extremely traumatic event, and that more information would be released in the coming week. The shooting is under investigation, and any findings will be shared with the district attorney for further review.