ESPAÑOLA – On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Office (NMSP) was contacted on Tuesday to investigate a police shooting involving the Spain Police Department (EPD).
At around 9:30 p.m., EPD responded to a well-being check on a vehicle in the parking lot of Ranchitos Park in Española. Upon arrival, two EPD officers contacted the vehicle. During the approach, officers observed a man seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He was later identified as Luis Nathan Leyba, 38, from Spain.
One of the officers encountered the passenger, who was standing next to an open passenger side door outside the vehicle. The woman got back into the vehicle and sat in the passenger seat after ignoring the officer’s orders.
Meanwhile, Lebya drove the vehicle in reverse and began dragging an EPD officer. The dragged EPD officer gave numerous verbal orders for Leyba to stop. Leyba ignored the officer’s orders and continued to drive the vehicle in reverse.
The vehicle continued to drag the EPD officer. At that time, the two EPD officers took out the guns from their department and discharged them at least once towards Leyba, beating him.
Once the vehicle was stopped, EPD officers immediately rescued Leyba and called for an ambulance. Leyba was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He was declared deceased in hospital. The passenger in the vehicle sustained minor injuries. She was also transported by ambulance to a hospital in the area where she was treated and then released.
The identification of the officers involved will not be released until the interviews are completed. No officer was injured in the incident.
This investigation remains active and is led by the Bureau of Investigations of the NMSP. At the end of the investigation, this case will be handed over to the district attorney’s office for review.