N.M. Deputy shot suspect who assaulted him, stood over him with rock, officials said

State & Regional
New Mexico NM news 690_-2470510980745179935

(The following is a news release from New Mexico State Police):

Gallup, NM – On Monday, March 2, 2020, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted by the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office to investigate a police shooting involving a McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy.

State Police Investigations Bureau agents learned that at around 11:30 p.m., on March 1, 2020, McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Cecil Sanders responded to the Flying J gas station located on Interstate 40 at approximately mile post 39 for a call of a disorderly man, who was refused alcohol sales and had been escorted from the store. The deputy arrived to find the man and identify him as Melvin Russell Long (48) of Hereford, TX walking on the westbound off ramp towards Interstate 40 at around mile post 39.

Deputy Sanders made contact with Long and attempted to place him in handcuffs. Long took off running and a foot pursuit ensued. When Deputy Sanders caught up to Long, a physical altercation ensued. During the physical altercation, Long began punching the deputy and throwing rocks at the deputy. He then straddled and stood over the deputy who fell and was on his back. Long picked up a large rock and held it over his head. Deputy Sanders believed Long was going to hit him with the large rock. In fear of his life, Deputy Sanders fired his weapon and struck Long, stopping the attack. Long was transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The deputy was uninjured.

Long was charged with Battery on a Peace Officer and Resisting and Evading a Peace Officer. Deputy Sanders has been with the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office for two years and five months. For inquiries into the deputy’s duty status please contact the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office. This incident remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau and Crime Scene Team. At the completion of the investigation it will be submitted to the appropriate district attorney.

(This is a news release from New Mexico State Police)

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