New Orleans woman killed by New Mexico reserve deputy after charging him with sledge ax

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Photo courtesy Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Orleans woman was shot and killed by a reserve deputy in New Mexico Tuesday night after reportedly charging at him with a sledge ax.

According to a news release from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, 37-year-old Heather Denean Bubrig of New Orleans had been released from a mental health facility in El Paso on Tuesday and was with her boyfriend in New Mexico.

The two were at a hotel, when she became upset and threatened to harm him because she was scared someone was trying to hurt her.

That’s when Bubrig and her 51-year-old boyfriend, also of Louisiana, left and were traveling on I-10. Her boyfriend pulled over during an argument and told police that Bubrig tried to walk into traffic.

Around the same time, two people called 911 to report a physical altercation between a man and a woman at the same location along I-10.

Bubrig fled the scene on foot.

Just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, two more people called 911, one to say that a woman had entered his home and said someone was trying to kill her. A second caller said Bubrig was inside a shed on the caller’s property.

When deputies arrived and approached the shed, Bubrig reportedly came out of the shed armed with a sledge ax — a tool used for splitting wood.

Bubrig moved toward the deputy with the ax in hand, prompting the deputy to fire at least two shots.

Bubrig was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 47-year-old reserve deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. He has been with the department since 2014. Reserve deputies are volunteer officers with the sheriff’s department and do not receive financial compensation.

The incident is under investigation by the Officer-Involved Incident Task Force, which includes investigators with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, the Las Cruces Police Department, New Mexico State Police and New Mexico State University Police.