Published: 2:15 pm, Mon. Oct. 15th, 2018Updated: 2:56 pm
The New Mexico State Police are currently investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred Monday afternoon in Artesia.
The incident began at 1922 Villa Drive in the Sunwest Villa townhome complex, pictured above, near the intersection of 20th Street and Washington Avenue. Residents reported hearing gunfire around 5 p.m.
According to the NMSP, the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force was attempting to serve a warrant on Ronnie Dunnavant, 47, of Artesia, on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and criminal damage to property.
Dunnavant was spotted in a 2016 white Ford pickup parked at the Sunwest Villa residence. As agents approached, he put the truck in reverse.
Agent Gilbert Gomez of the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office fired a single shot at the pickup’s tires. Dunnavant was not struck by the gunfire and fled the complex at a high rate of speed. He was apprehended soon after in an alley behind a residence on South 39th Street near PVT, pictured at right.
Gomez is a four-year employee of the ECSO.
The NMSP say the details of the shooting remain under investigation. Once their investigation of the officer-involved shooting is complete, the case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.
Dunnavant’s warrants stemmed from an Oct. 6 incident in which Artesia Police Department officers were dispatched around 3 p.m. to AutoZone, 1908 W. Main St., in reference of a fight in progress involving a weapon.
According to the criminal complaint, two males, one identified as Dunnavant, were engaged in a verbal argument in the parking lot of the business, which escalated. Dunnavant was seen striking the second male’s vehicle.
The report states Dunnavant chased the second male in the parking lot with a nightstick before using it to beat on the vehicle. Police observed three dents in the vehicle’s hood and a smashed left-side rearview mirror.
Dunnvant was arraigned on the charges in Artesia Magistrate Court and is scheduled to appear Oct. 24 for preliminary examination before Judge Daniel Reyes Jr. He is also scheduled to appear that day for preliminary examination in Roswell Magistrate Court on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
June 2017 charges of aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony and criminal damage to the property of a household member against Dunnavant were dismissed by the prosecutor.