ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of Oscar Najera who was shot and killed by Chaves County Sheriff’s Office deputies in July last year has filed a lawsuit. They claim wrongful death but also that deputies were lacking important training that day.


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Deputies were called by Najera’s girlfriend who said he was violent and had pulled a gun. When deputies tracked Najera down, the video shows him showing his hands and then walking away. The situation escalated with Najera putting one hand out, at times crouching down with his hands hidden between his legs, and also grabbing at his waistband.

After the shooting, deputies didn’t find a gun but instead a cell phone. The gun was later found in the car Najera left at a gas station. After the shooting, Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington was quick to defend his deputy’s actions. “I believe it will be a justifiable shooting. The deputies did exactly as they were trained to do.”

Laura Schauer Ives, attorney for Najera’s family, disputes that saying the deputies involved had not completed their required gun training and no deputies in the department had received training on dealing with people with mental illness. She said Najera had post-traumatic stress disorder after suffering a nearly-deadly gunshot to the head years earlier that still affected him. Schauer Ives went on to say that the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office has a history of hiring deputies who have left other departments for a number of issues including excessive force.

One of the deputies seen in the video, Richard Delgado, had been previously seen getting physical with a woman he had arrested. She did kick him first and was combative but the attorney claims the way he handled her was still excessive.

Schauer Ives said right after the case, Delgado left Roswell Police Department for the Chaves County Sherriff’s Department and that something needs to be done. “Instead of recognizing that those are people not suited to be officers Chaves County Sheriff’s Office hires them.”

The family is also suing the law enforcement academy board and says it failed to protect the public from unqualified officers. We reached out to the Sheriff for comment on the allegations made. He did not call us back.