Algernon D’Ammassa Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 5:11 p.m. UTC Aug 6, 2018
LAS CRUCES – A multi-agency investigation is underway following the fatal shooting of 29-year-old James Bishop by a Las Cruces police officer on Friday night.
Bishop’s family issued a public statement over the weekend via family friend Gavin Clarkson, who wrote, “On Friday night, the Bishop family suffered an unspeakable loss. Their 29-year-old son James suffered a mental health episode that prompted the family to call Las Cruces Police Department. The family had hoped that the police would help them get James under control and transport him to the hospital to get the help he needed. Tragically, however, James was shot and killed.”
According to the Las Cruces Police Department, officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance on the 1900 block of Arlington Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. Friday. There, police say an officer was injured in an encounter with Bishop and a second officer fired “at least one round,” striking Bishop. Neither officer was identified. Bishop was pronounced dead at the scene. Details about the interaction or nature of the officer’s injury have not been disclosed.
Following standard procedure, the officer who fired his weapon has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is in progress.
Clarkson described the family as “traumatized” and said, “As the investigation progresses, the family hopes that it will include an examination of the adequacy of police training for those responding to mental health situations and whether there was an equipment failure in this particular instance. Clearly, nobody involved wanted this outcome, and in the coming days we will all learn more about what happened. Until then, the family asks that everyone avoid speculation.”
The statement concluded with a request for prayers “for everyone affected by this tragedy,” including the officers involved, and a request to respect the family’s privacy.
Bishop’s mother, Betty Bishop, is chairwoman of the Doña Ana Republican Party.
The multi-agency Officer Involved Shooting task force will share its findings with the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office once it has concluded its investigation, according to a statement by the police.
On Monday morning, LCPD spokesman Danny Trujillo said the investigation was ongoing and no new information was available.
Clarkson said the family had not yet returned to their home and would issue updated statements to the public when more information was developed. “The family wants the investigation to be thorough and complete,” he said.
Algernon D’Ammassa can be reached at 575-541-5451, [email protected] or @AlgernonActor on Twitter.
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