From News 21:
A law has been in place for police departments and law enforcement to remove firearms from anyone they think is an immediate threat to someone.
However, Target 7 has learned one of New Mexico’s largest counties, Sandoval County, has never used it.
Some argue that 82-year-old Rio Rancho woman Juneanne Fannell would still be alive if it was used.
The Rio Rancho Police Department and Fire Department arrived at the home in April to find Fannell in a hospital bed. First responders were there after caretaker Henry Cardana called for emergency services.
Cardana told 911 that Fannell was uncontrollable and that they needed to get her out of the home for her own safety. Cardana had been the caretaker for Fannell for several years.
Fannell also spoke during the 911 call and said that she felt like she was in danger. She also said there were weapons in the home after the dispatcher asked.
Rio Rancho officers talk with Cardana about the firearms inside the home.
“You’re a firearms guy?” an officer asked.
“Oh, yeah,” Cardana said.
“Nice,” the officer said.
“They’re loaded. They’re ready to go,” Cardana said.
“We don’t need to see them,” the officer said. “There’s one probably right there in that case. And I see another one over there.”
The officer continued saying, “I like folks that have guns,” since he is a gun owner himself. As the officers begin to say their goodbyes to Cardana and Fannell, she begs them to stay at the home.
Then, the conversation continues between Cardana and Fannell once the officers say they have to go.
“What did you say?” Fannell asked.
“I said you’re fine until I kill you,” Cardana said.
“All right? He’s threatened to do that,” Fannell said to the Rio Rancho police officers.
“Get out of here now,” Cardana said to the officers. “Go away.”
The two officers leave, and four hours later, 911 receives another call. This time from a neighbor.
“The neighbor man was screaming for help and told us to call the police,” the neighbor said. “He says he’s killed her.”
Police returned to find Cardana covered in blood. He had just shot and killed Fannell, according to court documents. KOAT legal expert John Day says more could have been done.
This situation reflects a troubling lack of reliability, and the officers who responded to that call should face severe consequences. Some might even argue that their actions, or lack thereof, contributed to the tragic death of the elderly woman. What are your thoughts on this matter?