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Farmington police release video from fatal shooting of armed man on Navajo reservation

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Farmington Police Department on Thursday released video from a shooting where they assisted the Navajo Nation and the armed suspect ended up dead.

The Oct. 6 incident was the first time in the agency's history officers were directly involved in a shooting while supporting Navajo police, Police Chief Steven Hebbe said in a statement.

The ordeal began when tribal authorities received reports just after 4:30 p.m. that someone was walking around with a shotgun on the Navajo Nation reservation, which extends into New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

Navajo police officers responded and the suspect, identified as Brandon Blackwater, sequestered himself inside an RV trailer.

Police attempted to negotiate with him for almost an hour when he opened fire, according to a timeline released by Farmington police.

One officer was wounded and transported to a hospital.

Four Farmington police SWAT officers with armored vehicles arrived just before 9 p.m.

Camera footage from the helmet of one of the officers, Sgt. Matt Burns, shows when a fire breaks out in the RV after the SWAT team deploys flash bangs and tear gas.

Blackwater emerged from the trailer as firefighters were extinguishing the flames, according to Hebbe. Burns said he spotted the suspect was pointing a gun toward officers so he fired a round.

The footage shows Navajo firefighters working when suddenly one officer shoots multiple times and other gunfire can be heard. An officer than yells to “cease fire.”

Blackwater, who had the gun tied to him, was pronounced dead at the scene.

FBI investigators are determining who fired the shots that killed Blackwater and the cause of the fire.

Burns was placed on administrative leave pending investigation.