Rio Arriba County deputy shoots suspect after chase

Incident occurred after man tried to hit several law enforcement officers with his car


A Rio Arriba County sheriff's deputy shot a Santa Fe County man in the leg Thursday morning following a chase from Dixon to Chimayó in which the man tried to hit several law enforcement officers with his car, according to a sheriff's office news release.

New Mexico State Police, which is investigating the shooting, has not yet named the deputy who shot Brian Dorais, 54, of Madrid.

According to the sheriff's office, the deputy was put on administrative leave, per the department's policy.

Dorais is charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated fleeing, the news release said.

The incident began around 9 a.m. Thursday, when someone called authorities to report a suspicious person sitting in a car on private property in Dixon.

When a deputy arrived and got out of his vehicle, the news release said, the man, identified as Dorais, accelerated toward the deputy. The deputy jumped out of the way, the sheriff's office said, but Dorais hit the patrol car and then fled.

Another deputy tried to stop Dorais near Truchas, where he punctured the tires of Dorais' vehicle with a tool called a "stop-stick," the sheriff's office said. The passenger-side tires deflated, but Dorais continued driving on N.M. 76 toward Chimayó.

New Mexico State Police tried to stop Dorais in Chimayó, first trying to deploy tire deflators and then blocking his car with their vehicles, the news release said. Dorais rammed one state police vehicle, according to the release, and then turned his car toward sheriff's deputies who were approaching him on foot.

That's when a deputy fired one round and hit Doraise in the leg, the release said. Dorais tried to get away on foot but was captured and taken to Presbyterian Española Hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening, according to the sheriff's office.

"From what I see, I think the shooting was justified," Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan told The New Mexican on Thursday.

Online court records show a number of criminal charges against Dorais in the past two decades, ranging from driving under the influence to arson, aggravated burglary and a prior charge of aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer.