Shocking bodycam footage shows the moment New Mexico police fatally shot an innocent man after he approached the wrong home following a domestic violence call, before shooting at the victim’s screaming widow.
The heart-stopping video released by the Farmington Police Department shows officers realizing they’re at the wrong address seconds before shooting dead 52-year-old Robert Dotson, who opens his door armed with a gun.
His widow’s terrifying screams can then be heard from inside the house and a traumatized officer begs quietly to himself, “Please, don’t.”
Officers had approached 5305 Valley View Avenue on April 5, but they were to go to 5308 Valley View Avenue, across the street.
When officers knocked on the door and announced themselves, no one answered the door.
Bodycam footage shows three officers approaching Robert Dotson’s home before realizing they are at the wrong address
After the three officers began to retreat to the door and prepare to leave after their knocks went unanswered, Dotson, 52, appears and points a gun at them
All three officers immediately fire and Dotson appears to fall to the ground. A cop confirms, “One down.”
The 52-year-old homeowner, Robert Dotson (pictured) of Farmington, died in the shooting involving officers at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night. His wife, Kimberly Jones-Dotson, was also armed but cooperated with authorities when she realized who they were
The images show how an officer knocks three times, but between the second and third knocks, the three officers discuss whether they were at the wrong address.
The officer at the door asks, “Isn’t this 5308?” That was there, wasn’t it?’
His partner replies, “No, it said 5305, didn’t it?”
The first officer then asks for confirmation of the address they were called to on his intercom, and the dispatcher confirms 5308.
In a chilling moment of levity seconds before their fatal encounter, the officer then appears to say, “So they told me the wrong thing…”
The audio then cuts out and a third officer, standing a few feet from the front door, is heard laughing.
The police then begin backing up at the door as they prepare to leave, but seconds later Dotson appears, opens the door and raises a gun.
Panicked cops are heard yelling, “Hey! Hi! What the…?!’ before shooting Dotson instantly.
Officers confirm: “One down, go out.”
About a minute later, a woman’s screams can be heard coming from the house. The woman, later identified as Dotson’s widow, Kimberly Jones-Dotson, then shows up at the door with a firearm.
A traumatized officer, seemingly frightened of another fatal shooting, quietly says, “Please don’t.”
The woman fires her weapon at the officers, who return fire. The images end after the end of the recordings that are exchanged.
Officers had approached 5305 Valley View Avenue on April 5, but they were to go to 5308 Valley View Avenue, across the street
Robert Dotson’s house, 5305 Valley View Avenue
5308 Valley View Ave
Robert Dotson with his wife Kimberly and their son in 2022
Once Kimberly realized the individuals outside her home were officers, she put the gun down and followed their orders.
She was unharmed and has not been charged with a crime. The officers involved were also not injured and their identities have not been released.
The footage shows that all three officers fired their guns during the shooting, but how many bullets were fired is still under investigation.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said he could not yet explain why officers turned up at the wrong address.
He told a press conference at Farmington police station: ‘That’s the worst for us. … I can’t give you that explanation right now. That is part of the interrogations and the state police will look into it.’
He added, “You know, that’s really something that the officers are going to have to talk to the state police about and certainly, you know, the results of it are terrible.”
Hebbe said the shooting will be investigated and state police will try to find out why officers went to the wrong address.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe admitted the results of the mistake were “appalling.”
Two of the officers have been with the department for about five years, and the other for about three years, he added.
All three have been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation.
The Dotson family, along with their attorney, viewed the video footage at the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office before it was released to the public.
Hebbe expressed his condolences to the family in a press release. “All of us – the men and women of the Farmington Police Department – recognize the seriousness of this shooting,” he said. “We will do everything possible to better understand what happened here.
“Once again we would like to express our condolences to the Dotson family and as your Chief of Police I would like to convey my deepest regret that this tragedy has occurred. We will continue to provide updates as we can.”