Police in Farmington, New Mexico, fatally shot a man while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the wrong house. The man killed lived across the street from the house police had been called to.
“On April 5, 2023, at around 11:30 p.m., the Farmington Police Department received a call for a domestic violence incident occurring at 5308 Valley View Avenue,” according to the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau, which is now investigating the incident. “Once on scene, officers mistakenly approached 5305 Valley View Avenue instead of 5308 Valley View Avenue.” Police knocked on the (wrong) door, no one answered, and “officers asked their dispatch to call the reporting party back and have them come to the front door.”
As they started to leave, 52-year-old homeowner Robert Dotson opened his front door holding a handgun—not an entirely unreasonable thing for someone to do when they get a strange knock on their door late at night.
No one alleges that Dotson pointed the gun at the police officers or threatened them.
Nonetheless, “at this point in the encounter, officer(s) fired at least one round from their duty weapon(s) striking Mr. Dotson,” the state police report. The Farmington officers did not even tell the man who answered the door to drop his weapon nor give him time to comply with their order before firing upon him, according to the statement from state police.
This would be an insane overreaction even if the police had been at the right house. That police weren’t even at the right house of course makes the shooting all the more senseless.
Dotson was pronounced dead at the scene.