FBI Impersonator Killed by Homeowner During Home Invasion Attempt
Espanola, New Mexico – An FBI impersonator was shot dead by a homeowner as he attempted to enter an apartment on August 8. The deceased suspect was identified as Darell Padilla, 31.
Natasha Decosta called 911. The dispatch log read: “Someone is trying to break into an apartment, she advised they are pounding on the door, kicking the door trying to get in. There are two guys who don’t live there and they are saying they are from (FBI High Intensity Drug Task Force) Region Three. She doesn’t think they are cops.” Dispatch logRioGrandeSun
Española Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeremy Apodaca told the Rio Grande Sun that the two men were not police officers, nor were they FBI. But they did identify themselves as that when they contacted residents of the apartment building.
Padilla had taped a laser pointer to the end of a black pellet gun. Bad move. Even though tenant Alex Lucero told him numerous times that he was armed, Padilla did not heed the warning.
“(Padilla) kicked the door open, that’s when the tenant saw the barrel of the gun come through the door. The tenant announced several times that he was armed, and that’s when the offender went into the living room, just stepping through the doorway and being that he was armed, the tenant protected himself with his own weapon.” Sgt. Jeremy Apodaca
After the shooting, Lucero applied a makeshift tourniquet in an effort to stop the bleeding. Padilla was transported to the hospital, where he died. At this point the second suspect is unknown, but he does have a good sense of what not to do and where not to go to attempt a home invasion.
No charges are expected against Lucero.
“You do have the right to protect yourself and your family, and being that this person was armed, (Lucero) pretty much took the appropriate actions from my understanding. He announced that he was armed, he announced not to come into his house and (Padilla) still came in with a weapon.” Sgt Apodaca
Taping a laser pointer to the barrel of a pellet gun was a fatal decision. The tenants recognized that the men attempting to gain entry were fakes.
Padilla was pursuing a Master’s degree in Psychology, and his undergraduate degree was in film and digital media arts. It may have been some sort of experiment for a class – but his actions were his final grade.
Featured photo of Darell Padilla via DeVargas Funeral Home