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Sergeant Joseph Anthony Harris, Sr. | Sandoval County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico Sandoval County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico


Joseph Anthony Harris, Sr.

Sandoval County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico

End of Watch: Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46

Tour: 26 years

Badge # 208

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Shot and killed

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Sergeant Joe Harris was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a burglary suspect along New Mexico 126 at approximately 6:45 am. He and another deputy were conducting a stakeout due to a rash of recent cabin burglaries in the area.

The deputies attempted to take the man into custody when they observed him breaking into a home. Sergeant Harris and the suspect were both fatally wounded in the ensuing shootout.

An investigation revealed that the killer had fled to Canada during the Vietnam War to avoid the draft. He was wanted in British Columbia, Canada, for a 1972 double murder of two campers.

Sergeant Harris had served with the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office for six years and had previously retired from the Rio Rancho Police Department after 20 years of service. He is survived by his wife and five children and is buried at Vista Verde Memorial Park in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

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Sgt. Harris -

It seems that our daughters are friends. I learned enough of your story to track you down, here. I am sorry to read the details of your death. I have been told, and I hope it's not true, that your surviving partner has become another sad statistic of police work, due to guilt over your death. That compounds the tragedy.

Thank you for your service to the people of Sandoval County, and to the State of New Mexico. May God grant you eternal peace and may His perpetual light shine upon you.

Sgt. K. Moreland
Arapahoe Community College PD (Ret. LAPD)
January 22, 2016


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