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Posted: 9/17/2005 10:31:22 AM EDT
Saturday, September 17, 2005

Clara Garcia News-Bulletin Staff Writer; cgarcia@news-bulletin.com

Casa Colorada The man who was shot in the head after police said he attempted to run down a Casa Colorada man has died from his injuries.

Valencia County Undersheriff William Martinez said Blake Edward Sanderson, 19, of El Cerro Mission, died Wednesday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. Sanderson was shot once in the head by an unidentified Casa Colorado man who told police he was in the midst of protecting his property

"The next of kin was notified and he was taken off life-support Wednesday afternoon," Martinez said. "The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing and we are not releasing any more information at this time."

Martinez said the shooter, whose identity has not been released by police, has not been charged.

On Monday afternoon, deputies received a 911 call from the resident reporting that someone was trying to steal his truck. The man told police he was going to arm himself and confront the individual.

When deputies arrived at the house at 30 Ricardo, they found that Sanderson had been shot once in the head. Police said the resident told them that when he aimed his gun at a man attempting to steal his truck and ordered him into a kneeling position, Sanderson attempted to run him over.

"The driver of a vehicle, who we believe was with the alleged thief, whips around and started coming at him at a high rate of speed," Deputy Shannon Brady. "He (the resident) turns around, fires his weapon (into the windshield) and hits the subject in the head."

Immediately following the shooting, the man who was ordered to his knees ran away on foot north through a large field. Deputies searched the area for the man, but were unable to find him. He described as five-foot-eight-inches tall and wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.

"This case could turn out to be a justifiable shooting," Brady said. "We are looking at it from all angles."

According to court documents, Sanderson had recently been sentenced to three years probation for a November 2004 burglary in Belen. Sanderson pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Court records show that District Judge William Sanchez sentenced Sanderson on Aug. 31 and suspended a three-year prison sentence. The teenager had been arrested last year in what police described as a tri-state crime spree ending in Belen.
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