UPDATED: Man held on murder charges following fatal shooting of Rociada man

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By Ryan Lowery

A man is being held without bond following the fatal shooting of 46-year-old Roman Lucero of Rociada.

William R. Daniels, 60, was arrested Saturday night following an investigation by New Mexico State Police and is being held at the San Miguel County Detention Center on an open count of second-degree murder.

Earlier this year, Daniels had been helping staff at the Bridge Street office of the San Miguel County Republican Party and was the center of controversy during a campaign stop by U.S. senatorial candidate Mick Rich. Ray Herrera, chairman of the San Miguel County GOP, told the Optic Daniels was only a volunteer who was terminated “shortly after that.”

According to documents filed in San Miguel Magistrate Court, around 9 p.m. Saturday, NMSP received a call about a man with multiple gunshot wounds along New Mexico Highway 276 in Rociada. When police arrived, officers located the body of a man — later identified as Lucero — in the roadway. The Office of the Medical Investigator later pronounced Lucero deceased.

Soon after police arrived on scene, Daniels whistled at officers as he walked down from the mountainside. Daniels approached officers with his hands up and told police he was unarmed. Police later recovered two handguns from the hood of Daniels’ truck.

According to court records, a witness saw Daniels and Lucero get into verbal and physical altercations, apparently because Daniels’ truck was blocking a driveway. The witness told police that Daniels moved his truck, but the two men continued to argue, and Lucero then got into the passenger seat of Daniels’ truck and began striking him.

The two men exited the vehicle and continued to argue. Lucero began shoving Daniels, and Daniels drew a firearm and shot Lucero. The witness said Lucero fell to the ground and Daniels fired three or four more shots at or near Lucero’s head. When Lucero attempted to get off the ground, Daniels shot him again.

In police custody, Daniels told officers he’d been carrying a gun since he was 19. Daniels was previously arrested in April 2014 for negligent use of a deadly weapon (intoxication), though the case was dismissed without prejudice in October 2014.

Daniels is due in court for a hearing.