By Rick Nathanson
LOS LUNAS, N.M. — An estimated 75 to 80 shots were fired at police officers and a gas meter was struck by one round in a tense situation early Saturday in Los Lunas.
Police identified the suspect who allegedly fired upon officers as Daniel Olguin, 41. He remained in critical but stable condition Monday at the University of New Mexico Hospital, where he was taken after State Police officers returned gunfire late into the confrontation.
Despite the large number of rounds allegedly fired by Olguin, no officers were struck, although one officer required nine stitches to his chin after falling through a neighbor's roof, where he had taken up a tactical position. The gas meter of a nearby home was also struck by an errant bullet but did not set off an explosion or fire.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas on Monday revealed more details about the incident, which drew a response from nearly 20 officers from the State Police, Los Lunas Police Department and the Valencia County Sheriff's Office.
The call initially came in about 9:30 p.m. to Los Lunas police as a domestic violence incident with a suspect barricaded in his home, firing shots and possibly with a hostage. Los Lunas officers were dispatched and were met by Olguin, Kassetas said, who pointed a rifle out of a doorway and fired at them.
State Police and Valencia County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched for backup assistance and they, too, were allegedly fired upon by Olguin. By this time, his wife and two younger children had left the home, but his 14-year-old son remained inside. Los Lunas police negotiators spoke on and off to Olguin, who later allowed his son to leave.
About 2 a.m., Olguin finally walked out of his home holding a rifle above his head. He placed it on the ground as ordered, but then picked it up, shouldered it and pointed it at officers, Kassetas said. Police fired nonlethal bean bag rounds, which proved to have little effect. Only then, he said, did three State Police officers fire live rounds at Olguin, who was injured and transported to the hospital.
"I can tell you that police officers aren't trained to disable when it gets to that level of force. So he's a very lucky individual also," Kassetas said.
The officers who fired upon Olguin were placed on the standard three days leave. Their names were not released pending further interviews and investigation. One of the officers had been involved in a prior shooting, Kassetas confirmed.
No further information was available on how many times Olguin was hit by gunfire, where on his body he was struck, or if he had a previous criminal history or mental health issues.
Neither did police specify the types of weapons Olguin allegedly used. Kassetas did say that officers who later searched the Los Lunas home "found multiple firearms located throughout the residence."
Olguin has been charged with six counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and negligent use of a firearm.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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