Six-hour standoff ends with Tucumcari man’s death

Thomas Garcia

A six-hour standoff with police ended with the death of a Tucumcari man Monday night.

Officers initially responded to a domestic dispute report that ended when Daniel Gonzales, 56, prompted the use of deadly force, according to a press release from New Mexico State Police Lt. Eric Garcia.

No other injuries were reported.

Officers established a perimeter outside Gonzales’ 702 E. Laughlin Ave. home sometime after 4 p.m. Monday after receiving the report of a domestic disturbance.

Within hours, tactical resources were on scene, including a state police crisis negotiator who spoke with Gonzales on the telephone for over an hour and a half, according to the news release.

About 10:30 p.m., Gonzales appeared at the front door with shotguns in both hands, threatening officers, Garcia said.

Garcia said shots were fired by Albuquerque SWAT officers, fatally striking Gonzales, after he “acted in a threatening manner towards the tactical officers on scene,” Garcia said.

Garcia said he did not know how many shots were fired, if Gonzales was shot more than once or if Gonzales fired at officers.

Evelyn Otero, a neighbor, said she looked out her window when her son told her Gonzales’ ex-wife was crying. Otero said she saw Gonzales with a gun in his hands talking to the police.

“An officer knocked on my door and ordered me to evacuate my house,” Otero said.

When police arrived, Gonzales would only speak to officers through the screen door, refusing to come out and cooperate, the news release said. They said he pointed a rifle at officers, prompting them to take cover.

Gonzales, who was alone in the home, later stepped onto the porch of the residence armed with a shotgun and within minutes he was armed with a pistol, rifles and ammunition, according to the release.

Tucumcari Police Chief Jason Braziel met with Gonzales for about 15 minutes outside the home, but Gonzales would not surrender.

The ongoing investigation will be conducted by state police, officials said. Once completed, their findings will be submitted to the district attorney’s office in Quay County for review.