ARTESIA – The New Mexico State Police (NMSP) have taken over the investigation of a homicide that occurred Thursday at the Public Safety Complex.
Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, the NMSP Investigations Bureau was contacted by the Artesia Police Department (APD) to investigate a homicide and subsequent officer-involved shooting that occurred at the complex — the hub of Artesia’s law enforcement, fire department and municipal court operations — at 3300 W. Main St.
NMSP agents learned that, just after 9 a.m., a dispute occurred in the complex parking lot between two male subjects. During that confrontation, one of the men brandished a firearm and fired multiple rounds, striking and killing the other man, who was identified as Mark Owen Rommel, 42, of Artesia.
Rommel was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
APD officers were in the immediate area, and at least one officer fired at least one round, striking the shooter, whose name has not yet been released by the NMSP. The shooter was later airlifted to an area hospital for treatment of injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
No officers were injured during the incident.
NMSP agents are continuing to gather facts related to the homicide and are collaborating with the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office regarding charges against the shooter. Agents are also working independently to determine the series of events that led to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews.