State Police Investigating Taos Police Department Shooting

State Police 3

State Police Investigating Taos Police Department Officer-Involved Shooting

TAOS ― The New Mexico State Police is investigating a shooting by a Taos Police Department officer. The shooting occurred Aug. 28 around 2:30 p.m. at the Fred Baca Park located at the intersection of Camino Del Medio and Fred Baca Park Road in Taos. 

Taos Police Department (TPD) had been called to the park to assist officers with the New Mexico Adult Probation and Parole Office (APPO). APPO officers had recognized inside a vehicle (a teal Saturn passenger car) at the park an absconder who had a felony warrant for his arrest. The absconder was identified as Requildo E. Cardenas (36) of Taos.

When the TPD officer arrived, officers on scene began giving Cardenas commands to show his hands, which he ignored. An APPO officer approached the passenger side of the Saturn and attempted to get a female passenger out of the car. The passenger was later identified as Elizabeth Maestas (20) of Ranchos De Taos. 

Cardenas suddenly began reversing his vehicle at a high rate of speed and backed into another vehicle behind him. Cardenas rapidly drove forward toward the officers, striking the APPO vehicle. As the vehicle lunged forward, Cardenas nearly ran over an APPO officer attempting to get out of the way. The officer had to take evasive action and jump out of the way, falling to the ground. During this time, the TPD officer fired into the Saturn to stop the actions of Cardenas. 

A round fired by the TPD officer struck Elizabeth Maestas. After Maestas was struck, Cardenas surrendered and was taken into custody. Maestas was immediately transported for medical treatment. She is currently is in stable condition and remains in treatment.

This case is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau. The names of the officers involved will not be released until after all interviews are conducted. Upon completion of this investigation, the case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney for review.