Town of Bernalillo — The man shot and killed by Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office deputies and officers from the Bernalillo Police Department was armed with a rifle and may have been seeking the fatal confrontation.
On Facebook, the New Mexico State Police, which is investigating the officer-involved shooting, said the man was shot multiple times when he pointed the rifle at officers.
At 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, State Police Investigations Bureau agents learned that the sheriff’s department and Bernalillo police responded to a report from a homeowner who said there was a man on her property carrying a rifle.
The man, Gary Lee DeSanctis, 51, of Rio Rancho, got into a truck and began to drive away as officers arrived, according to the statement released by the state patrol. DeSanctis stopped the truck and officers gave him commands to get out of the truck.
DeSanctis got out of the truck holding the rifle, and additional commands were given to drop the rifle. He refused commands and pointed the rifle toward the officers. BPD officers and SCSO deputies discharged their duty weapons, fatally striking him. It was later learned that DeSanctis made statements to the homeowner indicating that he wanted a fatal confrontation with law enforcement.
Officers and deputies were not injured.
Additional details that led up to the incident are still under investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau.
Agents work to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings are shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration. The New Mexico State Police acts solely as factfinders in its cases and does not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters.
That decision rests with the district attorney’s office, the statement said.