Rio Rancho Police officers fatally shot a man who threatening a family member with knives Wednesday night, according to an RRPD news release.

Rio Rancho Police Department

On Jan. 26 at 10:36 p.m., officers were dispatched to a domestic violence incident in the 4600 block of Platinum Drive. Information from the 911 call indicated that a man was acting violently toward his family members and was armed with two knives.

Upon arrival, the officers encountered the man inside the residence. At that time, he was actively threatening a family member while armed with two knives. Officers attempted less-lethal means, including a Taser, to stop him from his continued threat.

The officers also shot the man, which stopped his action.

The man, later identified as John Paul Romero, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two of his family members, including the calling party, were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries received before the officers arrived. No officer was hurt.

“As part of our past practice and protocol, the Rio Rancho Police Department, in collaboration with the
New Mexico State Police, initiated an investigation into the incident,” according to the release. “This investigation is still at an early stage, and detectives from both agencies will work diligently to accurately determine what occurred.”

State police are leading the investigation.

The responding officers, identified as Cpl. A. Tortorici, Officer A. Benavidez and Officer J. Gurule have been placed on mandatory administrative leave with pay, as per standard protocol.

“We recognize that this is a tragic incident for the family involved, our officers and everybody in our
greater community,” said the RRPD statement. “Our mission, as always, is to secure the health, safety and welfare of our many communities.”