The names of the four Valencia County sheriff’s deputies involved in a fatal officer-involved shooting earlier this month have been released by New Mexico State Police.
Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 1, Valencia County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Stanley Montaño, and deputies Kenny Brown, Mikal Duran and Monique Thavenet responded to a call at a house in the 600 block of Meadow Lake Road.
Deputies were told Isaac Piñeda, 37, of Meadow Lake, had stolen someone’s firearm. The victim said Piñeda threatened he would harm his own family with the firearm.
Montaño and Thavenet knocked on the outside of Piñeda’s trailer and announced their presence. Deputies could hear Piñeda yelling inside the home, shouting obscenities and saying he had the deputies in his sights, according to the NMSP press release issued on May 16. Deputies also heard numerous women voices crying and yelling.
The deputies backed away and took cover behind two abandoned vehicles on the property. Piñeda’s family was able to safely exit the home.
A short time later, Piñeda exited the trailer with a rifle in his hands and pointed the rifle at Duran and Brown. Both deputies discharged their weapons, striking Piñeda, and he fell to the ground.
The press release says deputies gave Piñeda numerous commands to drop his weapon, but he ignored the commands and again brought the rifle up towards the two deputies.
At this point, all four deputies fired their weapons and fatally struck Piñeda, who was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
Brown has been with VCSO for six months, and Duran for three months, with four years prior service with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
Thavenet has been with VCSO for five years, with four months prior service at BCSO. Montaño has been with VCSO for seven years, with three years prior service at Socorro Police Department.
The four deputies were put on standard administrative leave after the shooting, and are now back on active duty, said Valencia County Sheriff Denise Vigil.
“We’re grateful that none of the deputies were injured in this incident,” Vigil said.
No members of Piñeda’s family were injured either.
Piñeda had an extensive and violent criminal history, to include kidnapping, false imprisonment, battery on a household member, aggravated battery against a household member, aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, possession of a controlled substance, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, shoplifting and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was contacted to investigate the police shooting on May 1.
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.