The multi-agency investigation into the Sept. 13 officer-involved shooting on Tiffany Drive is ongoing, but preliminary information has revealed that 47-year-old Gary Daniel McKinney was armed with a knife and had a slip-knot ligature wrapped around his mother’s neck when Las Cruces police officers entered the home.
The officer, an 11-year veteran of the Las Cruces Police Department, fired two rounds at McKinney who was pronounced dead that evening at Mountainview Regional Medical Center. About 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, Las Cruces police were dispatched to the report of a domestic disturbance in progress at the home McKinney shared with his mother at 2491 Tiffany Drive. McKinney’s teenage daughter reported the incident and told a call-taker at Central Dispatch that her father threatened to shoot her and her grandmother, McKinney’s mother. The girl indicated that she had never seen her dad with a gun, but he mentioned having one.
The first-arriving officers entered the home through a doorway into the garage and gave multiple announcements for the occupants to exit. The commands were not followed. Officers had reason to believe that McKinney’s 63-year-old mother was in imminent danger, so they proceeded into the kitchen where they found McKinney armed with a knife and standing behind his mother in a threatening manner.
McKinney was given commands to step away from his mother, but he refused those orders. The officer fired two rounds from his duty weapon and McKinney was struck.
The investigation has revealed that McKinney was armed with a kitchen knife wrapped in a glove and affixed to his right hand. His left hand was either gloved, or holding a glove, that had a ligature tied to the two middle fingers. The other end of the ligature had a slip-knot noose that was fastened around his mother’s neck. Video from the officer’s lapel camera indicates that McKinney’s mother was holding onto the ligature with one hand in an apparent attempt at preventing it from being tightened around her neck.
Upon reviewing audio from the officer’s lapel camera, investigators heard McKinney’s mother yell for help as the officer’s entered the residence. McKinney’s mother was not physically injured in the incident. As is standard protocol, the Las Cruces police officer who discharged his weapon has been placed on administrative leave. The multi-agency Officer-involved Incident Task Force is continuing to investigation the shooting. The task force includes investigators from New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State University Police. Upon completion of their investigation, their findings are forwarded to the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Information from: Las Cruces Police Department.