(USNewsMag.com) – A lawsuit has been filed against three officers of the Farmington Police Department as well as the City of Farmington by a New Mexico family after a man was killed by officers responding to a domestic violence call at the wrong house.
The incident occurred on April 5, when Farmington police officers responded to the incorrect address of a domestic violence call. The officers arrived at 5305 Valley View Ave. instead of 5308 Valley View Ave.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 15 in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico, states that “excessive, unnecessary force” was applied by the officers who shot and killed Robert Dotson, 52, “while he was standing in his doorway.”
According to the lawsuit, the three officers knocked on Dotson’s door. When Dotson heard the noise, he picked up his gun from on top of the refrigerator for personal protection and went to open the door. The lawsuit says that the police did not announce themselves, and the police vehicles, which “did not have their lights on,” were “parked down the street.”
When Dotson opened the door, the officers immediately opened fire, striking Dotson with 12 bullets. After hearing gunshots, his wife, Kimberly Dotson, came downstairs and reportedly fired at the officers, with one of the officers discharging a weapon 19 times at her in response. According to the police report, she complied and put the gun down when she realized the three were police officers.
After the shooting, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe stated that body-camera video showed Dotson appearing “to grip the weapon and then point it at one of the officers.”
In a video posted to Facebook after the incident, Hebbe said, “This ending is just unbelievably tragic.”
After the shooting, the three officers, identified as Daniel Estrada, Waylon Wasson, and Dylan Goodluckin, were placed on administrative leave.
According to the lawsuit, before they were taken to the police station, Kimberly Dotson and her two children were handcuffed and separated.
The suit is seeking unspecified damages.
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