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Shooter in custody is convicted felon, wanted by ICE

A man is in custody after a shootout with police that brought authorities on a chase through southeast Roswell Sunday morning.

No police officers or deputies were injured throughout the gunfire exchange or pursuit, but the suspect is believed to have been hit by gunfire at least three times. The injuries sustained do not appear to be life-threatening, authorities say.

Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder posted a statement on the department’s Facebook page around 3 p.m. Sunday, saying both the sheriff’s office and the Roswell Police department were involved in a shootout.

“The police department was originally called to Poe and Atkinson to investigate a possible drunk driver passed out behind the wheel at about 7:30 a.m. (Sunday) morning,” Snyder wrote. “Upon making contact with that driver, the individual drove off and was pursued to a house in the area of the Old Dexter Highway and Brasher Road in the County.”

Snyder said a standoff between the man then occurred at the corner of Old Dexter Highway and Brasher Road.

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“Deputies have had prior dealings with this individual and knew him to likely be armed,” Snyder said.

 The Roswell Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team was called in to assist, the sheriff said.

“After an extended effort failed to get the individual into custody at the original standoff sight, the suspect drove through fences in order to get back onto the Old Dexter Highway,” Snyder said. “We believe the suspect may have fired shots at officers as he fled that location.”

Snyder said the pursuit then went northbound and, eventually, east onto U.S. 380 and north onto Alamo Road on the top of Comanche Hill.

“Once the suspect reached the earth mounds behind the old National Guard Armory, he exited his vehicle and engaged deputies and officers with gun fire from an elevated location,” Snyder said. “Numerous shots were exchanged during the next few minutes. The suspect eventually retreated back to his vehicle and attempted to drive back out toward the highway.”

Snyder said the suspect’s vehicle didn’t get but a short distance before coming to a stop.

The driver, 30-year-old, Jose Manual Diaz Montelongo was then taken into custody.

“The suspect is believed to have been hit by gun fire at least three times, none of which appear to be life threatening,” Snyder wrote. “None of the deputies or officers were injured or shot during the exchange of gun fire. Other civilians and an off-duty NMMI officer were already at the shooting scene when the pursuit arrived and some of them engaged the suspect in the shootout as well.”

Montelongo was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Snyder said the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office has dealt with Diaz Montelongo for “many years” and know him to be an illegal alien and a convicted felon.

“Chaves County Sheriff’s Office detectives tried to have him charged and/or deported in 2011 after he shot himself in the head in front of deputies,” Snyder said. “We were unsuccessful in getting anything done with him in 2011 because of his pending medical expenses, at that time.

Diaz Montelongo was also found to have pending charges against him this morning on a Federal drug trafficking charge and was also wanted by ICE.”

According to Snyder, the New Mexico State Police, the Roswell Police Department and the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office are jointly investigating this shooting.

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