San Juan County, NM – On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at approximately 2320 hours, deputies were dispatched to Circle W Pawn (3316 US64) in Waterflow, NM in reference to an armed male who had just shot into an occupied truck. The reporting party/victim, identified as 26 year-old Matthew Jackson of Waterflow, reported that a Hispanic male, armed with a silver handgun shot at his truck as he was leaving the property. Prior to the shooting, the armed male, later identified as 44 year-old Lee Hernandez of Farmington, had asked Jackson for a ride towards Shiprock, however Jackson declined.
This angered Hernandez and he brandished the firearm. “In fear fo his safety, Jackson fled the property in his vehicle and heard a gunshot as he was leaving. He stopped a short distance east of the store and called police,” said Sergeant Garrett Morris. Several deputies responded to the area and set up a perimeter. US 64 was shut down for the protection of passing motorists. Numerous resources were called to the area, including Farmington Police K9 Officers. “While waiting for additional resources to arrive, deputies maintained visual of Hernandez. They were able to see a silver handgun in his possession,” continued Morris. Hernandez began trying to break into the glass doors of the gas station portion of the building. He paced in front of the building and at one point fired a shot into a window of the pawn portion of the business. The building was unoccupied.
Farmington PD’s armored vehicle arrived on scene and a team consisting of Sheriff deputies and Farmington and State Police officers was sent into the perimeter to contact Hernandez. Hernandez was taken into custody without further incident. A bullet hole was located in Jackson’s truck, but he was uninjured. Deputies processed the scene and recovered the firearm in the trash can outside the gas station. The Circle W business suffered extensive damage from Hernandez’s actions. He was transported to the San Juan County Detention Center and booked on the charges of Aggravated assault with a Deadly Weapon (a 4th degree felony), Shooting at a Motor Vehicle (a 4th degree felony), Criminal Damage to Property (a 4th degree felony) and Negligent Use of a Firearm (a petty misdemeanor). His bond was set at $40,000.
The Sheriff’s Office’s armored vehicle is stored in Aztec, and would have taken substantially longer to respond to the scene. “It is the good working relationship, and pooling of resources between the local law enforcement agencies that allows us to better serve and protect our citizens in emergency situations. We thank the Farmington Police Department and the State Police for their assistance last night,” said Sheriff Ken Christensen.