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N.M. deputy shot in face after high-speed chase


An Air Care helicopter takes off from County Road 7100, carrying a suspect that was injured in a shoot-out with police officers Saturday, south of Farmington, N.M. San Juan County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Kory Faulk was also transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds and was listed in stable condition Saturday night. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Lindsay Pierce)
BLOOMFIELD, N.M. — A San Juan County Sheriff's deputy was released from a hospital Sunday after being shot in the face following a high-speed chase that spanned from Bloomfield to a Navajo-area housing community south of Farmington.

At least one person was shot when deputies exchanged gunfire with occupants of the fleeing vehicle Saturday night, but no information on the assailant's identity or condition was immediately released.

Sgt. Kory Faulk was released Sunday from San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, sheriff's officials said. He was hospitalized overnight after sustaining gunshot wounds to his nose and a hand.

Another bullet grazed Faulk's head but none of the injuries was considered serious.

"We definitely anticipate a speedy return to duty," sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tyler Truby said.

The person shot by authorities was taken to the Farmington hospital while a second was taken into custody and a third, who jumped from the vehicle as it fled authorities near Bloomfield, also was hospitalized.

An FBI investigation was continuing. Neither Truby nor FBI spokesman Bill Elwell knew the identities of the three people who fled from police. Elwell said he wouldn't have any update until Monday.

The FBI took over the case because the chase crossed parts of the so-called checkerboard area south of Bloomfield, which includes Navajo tribal lands.

Bloomfield police responded to a 911 call about a fight at 6:51 p.m. Saturday. When officers arrived, several people opened fire and at least three fled in a car. At least one person fired at officers during the pursuit.

Police ended their part of the chase at city limits, but deputies took over and continued to receive fire from the vehicle as it traveled on U.S. 550 and, later, along a county road.

The chase ended when deputies rammed the vehicle to stop it at a housing area near New Mexico 371. The highway runs south from Farmington to Crownpoint.

A witness, Melaine Begaye, said she was driving from the complex to Farmington when her pickup truck was struck by the fleeing vehicle. She said after the car stopped, police left their vehicles and exchanged gunfire.

Sheriff Bob Melton said deputies returned fire after shots were fired at them.


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