Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 26 years
Badge # 208
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Offender: Shot and killed
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.