TOME — A woman is dead after shots were exchanged at a Tomé home on the Fourth of July.

Residents at a home in the 80 block of Romero Road called 911 at about 9:30 p.m., Monday, July 4, to report people were trying to break into the house.

Valencia County Sheriff’s Detective Ben Lankasky said the call was disconnected, but the residents called back, saying gunshots had been fired. When deputies arrived, the residents at the home were uninjured, the detective said, but a woman with a gunshot wound was found south of the home near the intersection of La Entrada and San Eligio roads.

A man who was with her was uninjured, Lankasky said, and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

“New Mexico State Police crime scene investigators were contacted to process both the residence and location where the decedent was found,” he said. “At this point, we do not have a 100 percent positive identification of the deceased. All deaths are investigated as homicides until they are deemed otherwise. Sometimes that determination is made quickly, sometimes it can take longer.

“What we can say at this point of the investigation, it appears shots were fired by both parties involved (inside and outside the home).”

Lankasky expects an autopsy of the woman to be performed by the Office of the Medical Investigator sometime on the morning of Thursday, July 7, after which more information should be available.

“The only entity that can determine a cause of death is OMI,” he said. “We can’t go into details on charges at this point in the investigation. Once an ID has been made and notification (to her family) have been done, we should have more details.”

The detective said the residents at the home and the man and woman didn’t know each other.

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Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.