Skip to Content

Suspect who allegedly exchanged gunfire with deputy in custody

Investigators with several law enforcement agencies are looking into an overnight shooting involving a 46-year-old man and a Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy.

Residents in the area of Berry Patch Lane and Isaacks Avenue called 911 just after midnight Thursday to report what sounded like multiple gunshots. A patrol deputy was dispatched to the area and made contact with a suspicious vehicle.

Detectives said a male subject – later identified as Zach Barela – exited the vehicle and fired a shotgun in the direction of the deputy. The deputy returned fire, and Barela fled on foot, detectives said.

Deputies were able to locate Barela with the assistance of the Las Cruces Police Department K-9 unit.

Barela was taken into custody and charged with Attempted First-Degree murder – Willful and Deliberate, Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer and Shooting at or from a Motor Vehicle. Barela was allegedly driving on a suspended license for failing to pay child support, officials said.

Investigators said no one was wounded during the shooting and pursuit.

The deputy, who is not being identified at this time, is a four-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. The deputy, per department policy, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation.

The incident is under investigation by the Officer-Involved Incident Task Force, which includes investigators with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, the Las Cruces Police Department, New Mexico State Police, and New Mexico State University Police.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content