State police name Angel Fire Police Officer who shot man outside burning home

Investigators still working to determine cause of fire, wife's cause of death

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 5/30/19

New Mexico State Police named Mark Fitch on Thursday (May 30) as the Angel Fire Police Officer who fatally shot the owner of a home that burned May 5 near Monte Verde Lake.

Fitch encountered the …

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State police name Angel Fire Police Officer who shot man outside burning home

Investigators still working to determine cause of fire, wife's cause of death

Posted

New Mexico State Police named Mark Fitch on Thursday (May 30) as the Angel Fire Police Officer who fatally shot the owner of a home that burned May 5 near Monte Verde Lake.

After firefighters had controlled the fire and were driving away from the scene, Fitch encountered the home owner, George Herrera, who was allegedly armed with a knife outside the smoldering home.

Herrera, 61, then allegedly began walking toward the officer with the knife still in his hands. When he refused Fitch's commands to stop and drop the knife, the officer "then fired his duty weapon one time fatally striking Mr. Herrera," according to a press release.

Reports from Red River Dispatch indicate Herrera was shot in the chest.

The 61-year-old was treated by medics at the scene, but died before he could be transported to a medical facility for further treatment.

The news release also said the remains of Herrera's wife, Diane Herrera, were recovered from inside the scorched home, information that state police had previously provided to The Taos News in a May 16 update.

A public information request submitted to the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in May for Diane Herrera's cause of death was still pending a response on Thursday.

The New Mexico State Fire Marshall's Office is also looking into the cause of the fire.

Fitch has been an officer with Angel Fire Police Department for two years and has a total of five years experience in law enforcement. His previous three years of law enforcement were with the military, in which he had a 30-year career, according to the update.

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