Taos Pueblo man found dead behind Applebee's


Emergency responders were dispatched to the 800 block of Paseo Del Pueblo Sur in Taos Wednesday (July26) around 6:30 a.m. after they received a call of an unresponsive male.

Police at the scene said the man, Russell Lujan, 47, of Taos Pueblo, died sometime early in the morning of natural causes. Interim Taos Police Chief David Maggio later said the incident was treated as an unattended death.

"These are transients who sleep back there and drink back there," Maggio said. "No foul play is suspected."

Maggio said others who were with Lujan called 911 immediately after they woke up and found him unresponsive.

Police at the scene said officers frequently respond to calls in the area behind the old Applebee's building and individuals living in the area have even built a small shelter learning against a fence in the back of the lot.


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Civil Servant David Maggio, describing Russell Lujan as a "transient" makes it transparent that you lack understanding of the community in which you choose to serve. Russell Lujan is of Indigenous Taos descent and you owe his family, as well as his community a sincere apology for your ignorant insult. The insult adds more pain on top of his passing. Connecting Russell's death with the issue of homelessness is deplorable for a person of your position. I'm appalled Maggio, Jesse Moya, and the Taos News would release such a demeaning statement regarding a loss of life. It's blatant there was another issue regarding his passing.

Russell Lujan was loved by many in the community. He was housed on his native homelands. I loved my cousin Russell. He was a kind and loving person. I'm sending my prayers from afar to the Reyna's, Lujan's, Cordova's, and all his loved ones. ❤️ #INDIGENOUSLIVESMATTER

Thursday, July 27, 2017 | Report this