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

Sergeant

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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I first met Joe Harris at Rio Rancho Elementary. He was my DARE officer. He was very passionate about keeping children off the streets and away from drugs. I kept in contact with him throughout my adulthood life. Having come from a broken home/family, I viewed Joe Harris as a father figured. His death was very hard on all of us! His legacy will not be forgotten; he will live on!

Astrid Lovato
DARE Student
July 21, 2017

 

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