FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Farmington Police Department officers went to the wrong address and ended up shooting and killing the homeowner inside. Now, the family of Robert Dostson has filed a federal lawsuit over the incident.
What started as a response to a domestic violence call on April 5 quickly turned fatal after Farmington Police officers went to the wrong address, showing up at 5305 Valley View Ave. instead of 5308 Valley View Ave.
After knocking on the door announcing as police, the officers and dispatch discuss if they are at the right address.
Officer 2: “Might’ve been 4308.”
Officer 1: “Is it 43- or 5308?”
Officer 2: “Yeah it might’ve been 5308.”
Officer 1: “Is this not 5308? That’s what it said right there right?”
Officer 2: “No, it says 5305 doesn’t it?”
Officer 1: “108 can you 10-9 the address?”
Dispatch: “5308 Valley View Avenue at a confidence factor.”
Officer 1: “So they told me the wrong (bleep) address (laughs)”
The lawsuit claims those officers didn’t tell investigators they thought they were at the wrong house. After the initial shooting, Dotson’s wife came to the door. Investigators said she fired at officers and the lawsuit said the officer fired back 19 times. She was not hit.
“After you shot and killed my husband, I was trying to protect my home, you then demanded me to quit life-saving resuscitation and come out with my hands up as if I were the one in the wrong here,” said Kim Dotson during a news conference earlier this year.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe called the shooting “tragic” and gave a possible explanation on why officers didn’t announce themselves again when Dotson opened the door saying one officer said he heard a gun rack. “My guess is they’re so startled by how fast it occurs that they don’t say Farmington Police again. But that’s just speculation on our part,” said Chief Hebbe.
The lawsuit claims Kimberly Dotson and her two children were handcuffed and put in separate police cars and then taken to the police station. The lawsuit is asking for damages for Dotson’s wife and his two kids. News 13 called the city of Farmington to get their reaction but did not receive a response.