NMSP Investigates An In-Custody Death Involving Santa Fe Police Department


On Saturday (August 13), the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was requested to investigate an in-custody death in Santa Fe, NM, involving the Santa Fe Police Department (SFPD). 

Agents learned at approximately 8:10 p.m., SFPD was contacted about removing a female from the residence at 1098 Willow Way in Santa Fe, NM. At approximately 8:50 p.m., the reporting person stated the female, Melanie Garcia, 36, was destroying property inside the residence. At 9:20 p.m., SFPD officers arrived at the residence, where they contacted the reporting party, and learned Ms. Garcia was not at the scene.

While SFPD officers were at the residence, Ms. Garcia returned, armed with a firearm. Officers gave verbal commands to Ms. Garcia and deployed their department-issued taser toward Ms. Garcia. At about the same time she sustained what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ms. Garcia succumbed to her injuries and died at the scene.   

No officers were injured during the incident. The names of the officers involved will not be released by the New Mexico State Police. For information about the initial call, the identities of the officers involved, and the administrative actions of the officers, please contact the Santa Fe Police Department.

The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigation findings will be shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration.

The case remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.