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Name of deputy in officer-involved shooting released

The entrance to the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office inside the Chaves County Administrative Building at 1 St. Mary’s Place. New Mexico State Police on Monday released the name of a deputy involved in a March 21 officer-involved shooting in Midway. (File Photo)

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New Mexico State Police have released the name of a Chaves County Sheriff’s deputy involved in a March fatal shooting.

A press release issued Monday stated Deputy Samuel Lueras shot 31-year-old Sergio Gutierrez Chairez while deputies were attempting to serve two arrest warrants for Chairez March 21 in Midway.

Lueras has been employed with the sheriff’s office for three months and has a total of seven and a half years of previous law enforcement experience with another agency.

The release states Chairez barricaded himself inside a semi-truck and aimed a rifle at deputies. Lueras fired his department-issued firearm toward Chairez, striking him. Chairez was pronounced dead on the scene. No deputies were injured.

Upon completion of the investigation by state police, the case will be turned over to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.

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Sheriff Mike Herrington said Monday that no administrative action has been taken against Lueras.

Deputies went to Chairez’s 6400 Shadow Road residence March 21 at 7:19 p.m. to arrest him.

When deputies arrived at Chairez’s property, the release states they observed him outside the residence but were unable to access the fenced-off property because of a locked gate. After a search warrant was obtained, deputies entered the property and Chairez barricaded himself inside a semi-truck on the premises.

“Deputies gave numerous commands to Chairez to exit the semi-truck and surrender peacefully. Chairez ignored the commands and refused to exit the vehicle,” the release states.

Deputies eventually entered the semi-truck. Chairez continued to ignore verbal commands from deputies. At the time, Chairez was in the rear cab of the semi-truck, lying down and facing up with a rifle next to him.

One deputy then deployed his department-issued taser toward Chairez. According to the press release, Chairez was then seen by deputies reaching for and picking up the rifle next to him, before Lueras shot him.

The incident is one of two officer-involved shootings involving deputies which are currently being investigated by state police. An April 15 shooting involving deputies and officers with the Roswell Police Department is also being probed by state police.

In that instance, two RPD officers and one deputy each fired at least one round from their guns at 22-year-old Victor Ivan Barron after he allegedly brandished a gun while fleeing officers on foot near the J.P. Stone Community Bank at the corner of North Main and 19th streets.

Barron, who is alleged to have led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in the moments before the shooting, was administered emergency aid at the scene. He was subsequently transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, where he died from his wounds.

The identities of the officers and deputies in that case have not been released.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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