Nobody seems to remember anything like this happening in Tucumcari.
A day after Daniel Gonzales, 56, was shot and killed by police at his home Monday night, ending a domestic-dispute-call-turned-armed-standoff, local police are still unsure when the last gun death involving a police officer in Quay County occurred.
Kristy Reid, Tucumcari Police Department dispatcher, said police were still combing through office records Tuesday evening to find the last known case. She said nobody at the police station could recall such an incident.
Neighbors living in Gonzales' neighborhood unanimously expressed shock and disbelief when asked about the standoff and resulting death, and none of them could recall a similar incident taking place in their county before.
The Gonzales family declined comment Tuesday afternoon. A family friend said Daniel Gonzales’ brother Ray, 65, died last week and was buried on Tuesday, but it was not clear whether that death played a role in Monday’s incident.
Evelyn Otero, who lives across the street from Gonzales' home and said she knew Gonzales all her life, said the incident has left her at a loss for words. Otero said she and the Gonzales' would visit one another and she was audibly shaken and distraught when speaking by phone.
She said she had seen Gonzales and his ex-wife fighting before, but never saw Gonzales display the kind of behavior she witnessed Monday.
"I noticed, you know, there was a couple of times when they would get into fights and she would walk off and she'd be crying and I'd go 'Susan, are you OK?' and she goes 'Oh, I'm fine. I'm fine.' But never like yesterday (Monday). I've never seen anything like that."
The standoff left onlookers questioning what had happened after gunshots were fired and an ambulance arrived on the scene late Monday night, but it would be 16 hours before state police issued a press release stating Gonzales was shot and killed after threatening police with shotguns in each hand.
"Once the facts of the incident were gathered, they were distributed in a press release to numerous media outlets across the state, as they also were interested in the incident as well. I will vigorously work in the future to provide information sooner rather than later," state police Lt. Eric Garcia stated by e-mail Tuesday.
Tucumcari resident Lillian Alarcon said she moved into a house across the street from Gonzales in 1998. In the three years she and her four daughters spent there, she said Gonzales' wife, later ex-wife, would often come to Alarcon's house and ask her for a place to hide.
"She was just totally afraid, but here in Tucumcari, where are you going to go? Yeah, you can go to counseling and all of this, but it's hard. It hurt me a lot to see her like that,” Alarcon said.