LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – It could have been a deadly mistake.
A suspect armed with a loaded gun dropped off at jail to be booked. The Los Lunas police officers who took him there no idea he had it.
How in the world did that happen? That’s what we asked the police chief. Watch the video above to see the video KRQE News 13 obtained of the situation.
It all started at the Home Depot in Los Lunas last month with a shoplifting call. Officers quickly confronted a woman and her boyfriend, Benjamin Marquez. And it turns out each of them had warrants out for their arrest.
Marquez was cuffed and his knife was taken. He seemed to be pretty cooperative, but then Marquez made a break for it before he was put in the back of a police cruiser.
Next stop, jail; and that’s when it became clear just how dangerous this situation was. Turns out Marquez had a gun and 28 rounds. Corrections officers found it all as he was being unloaded at the jail.
Los Lunas Police Chief Naithan Gurule says he was immediately told what happened. He says the bottom line, the officers messed up.
He says the officers have been disciplined and undergone re-training at the state academy in Santa Fe. He says his officers didn’t take the mistake lightly.
The chief says he’s not allowed to tell the specific discipline his officers faced because it’s a personnel issue.
The officers have been with Los Lunas PD for about a year, but both have several years’ experience at other agencies.