Raton City Police captured Steven Garcia, Jr. without incident a little before 10 am on Thursday morning. Garcia< Jr. had been sought since Monday evening when he eluded police after an incident of shots being fired at passers-by and vehicles and police officers. Raton Police Chief John Garcia told KRTN that a citizen’s call to police reported Steven Garcia, Jr. in the alley between fifth and sixth streets in Raton, near where the original incident took place on Monday. In searching the area, officers found Garcia, Jr. hiding in an adjacent yard and placed him under arrest.
Garcia, Jr. is being held at the Vigil-Maldonado Detention Center and is charged with 10 felony counts including three counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer, and three counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on individual citizens, three counts of shooting at or from a a vehicle one count of tampering with evidence and child endangerment. More people are coming forward during the investigation, so more charges are expected to be filed before arraignment, according to Chief John Garcia of the Raton PD.
By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Police captured Steven Garcia, Jr. without incident a little before 10 am on Thursday morning. Raton Police Chief John Garcia told KRTN that a citizens call to police reported Steven Garcia, Jr. in the alley between fifth and sixth streets in Raton, near where the original incident took place on Monday. In searching the area, officers found Garcia, Jr. hiding in an adjacent yard and placed him under arrest.
At about 4:30 Monday afternoon Raton Police were called to the area of 4th Street and Cimarron Avenue for shots fired. Reports indicated there was a man with a handgun walking down the street in that area shooting at passers by.
Upon arrival in the area a police officer spotted the suspect, who was later identified as Steven Garcia Jr., age 21, and he fired at the officer. The officer did not return fire and pulled back following the suspect who ran up Cimarron Avenue to 5th Street where he turned and fired another shot at officers. He then entered the residence at 740 South 5th street with a female subject. Police have determined that the female was not a hostage. The female subject has been identified as Chiara Gallegos, age 19.
According to Interim Police Chief John Garcia, officers have not determined if Gallegos will be charged in this incident or if she was actually a victim. Chief Garcia indicated that witnesses they have talked to say, that Gallegos was screaming at Steven Garcia Jr. to stop, he may have even shot at Gallegos.
Police evacuated homes immediately next to the residence and cordoned off an area from Pecos Avenue to 11th Avenue and South 6th to 4th Streets. MCMC Long Term was placed on lock down. There were students in the gym at Raton High School at the time of the incident and the gym was placed under lockdown and remained under lock down till around 7:00 p.m.
A State Police negotiator tried to talk to the suspect. The suspect appeared at a window but the female pulled the suspect back away from the window. Police have determined that the suspect was highly intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Gallegos was able to leave the house sometime after 7:00 p.m. and escorted to the command post. It is believed that Garcia snuck out of the house sometime during that time possibly through an open window. Chief Garcia noted that Gallegos leaving the house might have been enough of a distraction that Steven Garcia Jr. was able to escape from the house unseen.
The SWAT team members arrived around 9:00 p.m. as many traveled from all over the state to get to Raton. The SWAT Team was briefed according to Chief Garcia and they began the process of setting up their operation. They used robots with cameras and sensors to make their initial entry before the team made their entry into the residence around 1:00 a.m. Officers cleared the attic and the basement during that time but did not make contact with the suspect. The all clear was issued at about 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Chief Garcia said the investigation continues and the suspect is still at large, a warrant for his arrest has been issued.
The Raton Police Department is requesting your assistance in locating Steven Garcia Jr. Steven is 5’10” 145 lbs. with brown hair and eyes and goes by the nickname “MIKLO” Garcia Jr. has an active warrant for his arrest for several felony charges and is to be considered armed and dangerous, if seen do not approach and immediately call 911. Any non emergency information as to the whereabouts of Garcia Jr. please call 575-445-2704. The Raton Police Department greatly appreciates any information you may provide. We request that you share this post on your Facebook page so that the information gets to as much of the public as possible. Thank you