Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico State Police say Tesuque man cut his own throat before officers shot him | Local News


Josie Santana said she knew that her nephew Edward “Daniel” Santana was not a saint.

He was fighting a drug addiction when he was shot and killed by a Santa Fe County MP after brutally assaulting his mother at her home in Tesuque on the morning of July 7, his aunt and other family members said in an interview last week.

They believe that drug use has puzzled his mind.

However, they argued that 45-year-old Daniel Santana cut his own throat before he was caught by one MP and fatally shot by another shortly afterwards. Family members wondered if Santana would pose a threat to MPs if they shot him.

The State Medical Investigator’s Office has not yet released an autopsy of Daniel Santana, and neither the New Mexico State Police nor the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office have released a video of the shooting from the MP’s dashboard and body cameras. But a state police spokesman confirmed in an email that Daniel Santana cut his throat before he was shot.

In an initial press release about the shooting, Officer Dusty Francisco said Daniel Santana was “aggressively approaching officers” while holding a fence post. When asked in an email last week how Santana could display aggression when he was self-inflicting, Francisco replied that the shooting was still being investigated.

“The NMSP is still actively investigating this incident to determine the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the use of violence against Mr. Santana,” wrote Francisco. “This will include a determination by the medical investigator’s office of the cause and nature of his death, which will help determine what role, if any, Mr. Santana’s neck injury played in his death.”

Santana stabbed his mother, 67-year-old Delia Cervantes, causing fatal injuries. He was still on the terrace of her house, near where she was lying on a bench, bleeding from her injuries, when the Santa Fe District MPs came in on a phone call about the attack.

Josie Santana said Monday the incident was terrifying and complex. Still, she said she hoped the truth would emerge about why a police officer shot her nephew.

“If it has been confirmed by the state police [that his neck was cut], then the lapel video should be public now, “she said.

The death of Daniel Santana marked the third fatal police shooting in the Santa Fe area in two weeks.

On the morning of June 23rd, Santa Fe Police Sgt. Bradley Lopez shot and killed Francisco Javier Lino-Gutierrez, 29, from Lamy on the Old Santa Fe Trail. Lino-Gutierrez was suspected of shooting in De Vargas Park that morning.

Late that night, Sheriff’s Deputies Leonardo Guzman and Jacob Martinez and Cpl. Chris Zook shot dead 32-year-old Nathan Roybal on Siler Road.

The sheriff’s office had alerted Roybal and the black Ford Ranger he was driving after he was accused of pointing a gun at a woman on Lopez Lane and leading a proxy in a ruthless high-speed hunt earlier in the day, a report on the Incident and statements by the State Police.

Guzman, a former Santa Fe police officer who was acquitted in 2017 in the fatal shooting of a suspected car thief, met Roybal in the stolen ranger on West Alameda Street at around 11 p.m. on June 23, state police said.

Roybal led the deputy to Siler Road, sometimes reversing until he stopped the truck at the Rufina Court intersection.

A series of dash camera videos of the incident released last week show MPs ordered Roybal to get out of the truck, but he failed to act.

Instead, he waved a gun out of the window and fired a shot. The MPs then fired about 20 shots at the Ford Ranger, as the video shows, and riddled it with bullet holes.

Roybal waited a few moments after the firing stopped, then got out of the truck, immediately dropped the gun and ran down Siler Road, as the videos show. The three MPs fired again and fatally hit him as he fled with his back to them.

State Police spokesman Ray Wilson has described another series of events that led to the fatal shooting. Wilson wrote: “Roybal got out of the vehicle armed with the pistol. Roybal waved the pistol at the MPs, who shot Roybal again. Roybal was hit by gunfire and died from his injuries. ”

Wilson failed to explain the discrepancies between his description of the shooting and what is shown in MPs’ videos.

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