Police released lapel video of the chase that led to Roosevelt County Deputies opening fire on a man driving a front-end loader.
James McFarlin, 48, led police on a nearly 20-minute chase back in January in Portales.
Deputies were originally called out when neighbors said McFarlin came home in a stolen front-end loader. Cellphone video shows him crushing his wife’s Jeep and flipping it over in his front yard.
According to a criminal complaint, deputies tried to make contact with McFarlin at his home, but he took off in the tractor.
During the chase, lapel video shows, McFarlin refused to pull over for deputies.
Finally, when McFarlin drove into an empty field, deputies told State Police, McFarlin “ignored emergency equipment and commands to stop.” The complaint states that’s when shots were fired.
McFarlin spoke with deputies moments after he was shot and told them he ran from them because his wife divorced him.
Days after the shooting, KRQE News 13 learned it was Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker who shot McFarlin in the head.
Video shows both the front and back windows of the tractor were riddled with bullet holes. State Police did not say how many rounds Sheriff Parker fired.
The sheriff was immediately placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. In May, District Attorney Andrea Reeb cleared the sheriff of any charges saying Parker “was worried about the preservation of human life” and that’s why he fired his weapon.
Back in January, Parker told police when his efforts to shoot out the front end loader’s tires failed, he shot into the cab hitting McFarlin.
McFarlin survived the shooting. He was supposed to be released to State Police after he recovered in a Lubbock hospital, but the department said the hospital released him without any type of notification.
He now has a warrant for his arrest, and police believe he has fled the state.
McFarlin was charged with one count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, one count of aggravated fleeing and one count of criminal damage to property.
McFarlin has a clean record, other than a 2017 charge for careless driving.
It’s not clear if Sheriff Parker was wearing a lapel camera the day of the shooting, or the other deputies on the scene. KRQE News 13 only received video from one of the deputies.