From a reader: Sights, sounds of homicide suspect standoff

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Jose Melendez-Trillo's green 1997 Ford Expedition can be seen at far right a couple hours after he took his life following a four-hour SWAT standoff in the parking lot at the entrance to the petroglyph area along the Caja del Rio escarpment off County Road 56 in the La Cieneguilla area, southwest of the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. (Photo courtesy Ed Campbell)

Ed Campbell, a frequent contributor to the comments section of The New Mexican‘s website, had an up close look at the overnight SWAT standoff southwest of Santa Fe that claimed the life of murder suspect Jose Melendez-Trillo.

He provided a picture and the following comments about what he could hear from the scene, including high praise from the police handling the situation:

We were woken by the sirens of the cars chasing Soto down county road 56 just a tad before midnight. By the time I’d run out into the courtyard they were stopped – you could hear him shouting “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! Yo soy an Americano.”

I went back into the house to get shoes on – and as I came back out the scene moved to the petroglyphs parking area a couple hundreds further south – on the west side of the road.

The coppers were superb, professional – especially whoever was in charge of trying to talk Soto out of his Ford Expedition over a loudspeaker. In very good Spanish with an Anglo accent.

He kept ask “Señor Soto” to release his niño – tried to get him to call a phone number which I presume was the officer’s cellphone so they might negotiate. I have no idea if that ever worked.

Around 4AM we heard the shot which must have been Soto killing himself – after releasing his little boy.

Take a look at Ed’s blog here with the info:

And here is a link to our updated version of the story from The New Mexican:

Thank you Ed for getting us a closer glimpse of the scene and wonderful accounts of what you heard.

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