The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Officer in July shooting identified


July 24, 2019

CLOVIS — The New Mexico State Police on Thursday identified the police officer who discharged a weapon during a July 6 standoff.

Officer Jesus Sarabia has been with the Clovis Police Department for three years. Sarabia was back on full duty June 10, after spending three days on administrative duty.

He discharged his weapon, officials said, in response to Damon Smith, 42, brandishing a weapon during a two-hour standoff that began around 5 p.m. July 6. Police were called to a report of a domestic disturbance with shots fired on the 2700 block of Wallace Street.

Smith was released last week on a $5,000 appearance bond. He faces charges of aggravated assault upon a peace officer with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault upon a household member with a deadly weapon, contempt of court and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

No attorney is currently listed for Smith in court records.

According to Thursday’s release and previous releases from the NMSP:

• Five officers were initially on scene, with Smith and a 39-year-old female inside the residence. The initial call to dispatch came from an anonymous caller who reported the two arguing and heard a gunshot.

• Clovis officers gave Smith verbal commands from an open front doorway to exit the room. They said they heard what sounded like a pump shotgun being loaded.

• Smith brandished a rifle towards of the officers, and Sarabia discharged his department-issued weapon. Smith was not struck or injured.

• Following the shot, officers fell back until SWAT arrived. A team negotiated with Smith, and eventually used a Taser to take him into custody. He was treated on scene by emergency personnel, then taken to the Curry County Adult Detention.

• A 12-gauge pump shotgun, which investigators believed to be the weapon Smith pointed at officers, was located along with several other weapons.


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