The state Attorney General’s Office will not file criminal charges against a police officer whose two-year-old son was involved in the Santa Fe Shooting and was unintentionally shot and killed by his 4-year-old brother with the officer’s unlocked off-duty firearm.
The law cannot be applied retroactively so the parents of the toddler cannot be charged in the Santa Fe Shooting
At the time of the Santa Fe shooting, there was no specific legal duty for parents to ensure their firearms were accessible to children beyond the reckless endangerment standard in the child abuse statute, said Deputy Attorney General Greer Staley.
Since the tragic death of 2-year-old Lincoln Harmon during the Santa Fe shooting, the Legislature passed and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act into law. The law was intended to keep firearms out of the hands of children and teens by holding gun owners accountable if they don’t lock up their weapons, took effect in July.
That law that was created because of the Santa Fe Shooting was created the crime of negligently making a firearm accessible to a minor if the person stores or keeps the firearm in a manner that negligently disregards a minor’s ability to access that firearm, and the minor causes injury to another person.
Jonathan Harmon, who was placed on “alternate duty status” at the Santa Fe Police Department
In standard operating procedure, once an outside investigation is complete, the Department will initiate an Administrative Investigation into the case of Jonathan Harmon
Rio Rancho police believe Lincoln Harmon’s older brother found their father’s off-duty handgun in a kitchen cabinet while looking for bubble gum and unintentionally fired it, killing his little brother in the Santa Fe Shooting.
After a review of other possible child abuse statutes, the Attorney General’s Office has determined that the facts here do not meet the elements required for prosecution under applicable laws.