NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Two men are facing charges and one man is dead following a shootout with deputies last month but investigators say no one was hit by gunfire. It happened on June 17, when Socorro County deputies responded to reports of people firing shots from a pickup at a home in Veguita.
When Socorro County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Richard Lopez and Deputy Carlos Valenzuela got there, deputies say one man opened fire and the two deputies fired back. The pickup was hit by gunfire and exploded. Investigators say, Dean Gross, Joseph Remalia and two females remained on the scene and were then detained by deputies. Another man, 29-year-old Max Jaramillo from Los Lunas, fled and was later found dead in an arroyo. Medical investigators are still working to determine how he died but they say he was not shot.
Investigators say Gross and one of the females suffered serious injuries from the explosion and were transported to the hospital. The man who was accused of opening fire, Gross is charged with assaulting an officer and being a felon with a gun; Remalia is also charged with being a felon with a gun.
Investigators say Lt. Lopez has 21 years of law enforcement experience and has been employed with SCSO for a month and Deputy Valenzuela has eight years of law enforcement experience, and the day of the shooting was his first day on the job with SCSO.
Investigators say no deputies were injured during the shooting and the identity of the female who was injured will not be released by New Mexico State Police unless she is charged.