Las Cruces – The two Las Cruces Police Department officers who were the first to respond to a July 13 call of a man carrying a long sword at an apartment complex - a case that turned into the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Lance G. Hummell - have completed interviews, received counseling and are back on active duty.
LCPD officer Dennis Camp returned to duty July 18 and officer Horacio Rivera returned July 21. The officers were not physically injured during the incident and were cleared to return to their regular duties within the Las Cruces Police Department.
At around 8:30 a.m. on July 13 officers were dispatched to the Mesilla Manor Apartments, 1101 E. Boutz Road, after someone called 911 declaring that a man was walking around the apartment complex waving a long sword. Officers did not know it at the time but the caller was Hummell.
When the officers arrived at the apartment complex Hummell was observed carrying a 4-foot long samurai-type sword and he refused several verbal commands to drop the potentially deadly weapon. Shortly thereafter Hummell aggressively closed distance on the officers forcing Rivera to fire at least one fatal round. Hummell died at the scene.
"Everything I know about this case leads me to believe that Dennis and Horacio conducted themselves professionally and properly utilized their training," said LCPD Chief Richard Williams. "We have allowed time for the investigation and for the officers to cope with what they have been through. The officers are back on the street now and they are doing fine."
Detectives have recovered information that leads them to believe Hummell was suicidal and wanted to provoke officers into using lethal force.
The joint Officer-Involved Incident Task Force is conducting its own investigation into the incident and will forward its finding to the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office. The Task Force includes investigators from New Mexico State Police, LCPD, the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office and the New Mexico State University Police Department.