During a February 4 shooting on the interstate, one New Mexico State Police officer was killed, and several others were injured.
The New Mexico State Police (NMSP) tweeted about the incident, writing: “NMSP officer shot and killed in shooting on I-10 MP 101 in Luna County. Multiple agencies involved, several officers are injured. Suspect is deceased. Scene is still active with limited information. 1-10 is closed in the area. More information when available.”
NMSP officer shot and killed in shooting on I-10 MP 101 in Luna County. Multiple agencies involved, several officers are injured. Suspect is deceased. Scene is still active with limited information. 1-10 is closed in the area. More information when available. pic.twitter.com/U7WvD4e79q
— NMSP (@NMStatePolice) February 4, 2021
Several Separate Shootouts Between Police and Suspect
While assisting Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), NMSP officer Darian Jarrott pulled over a white Chevy pickup truck on the I-10 near mile post 101, close to the city of Deming. During the traffic stop, the driver, Omar Felix Cueva, 39, opened fire and killed Jarrott.
An officer from HSI who was riding with Jarrott informed dispatch of the shooting while Cueva fled east on I-10. That officer was taken to the hospital, though there have been no updates on his condition as of yet.
According to information provided by State Police Chief Robert Thornton, Cueva later exchanged gunfire with other NMSP officers near mile post 116, then continued to drive east.
At mile post 135, near Las Cruces, police were able to deflate the tires of Cueva’s pickup truck, but he kept going. Near mile post 140, a Las Cruces Police officer performed a PIT maneuver (pursuit intervention technique) on Cueva’s vehicle, and it finally came to a stop.
More gunfire was then exchanged between the suspect and police. Authorities from several other agencies were involved in this shootout, including LCPD, NMSP Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Border Patrol. Cueva was killed during the gunfire.
The Las Cruces officer and Cueva each exited their vehicles and exchanged gunfire. Authorities from several agencies — LCPD, NMSP Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Border Patrol — also returned fire and killed Cueva.
Honoring the Fallen Officer
All flags within the state will be flown at half-staff from February 5th until the 9th to honor Officer Darian Jarrott, according to an order from New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“I am shocked, heartbroken and enraged by the loss of this public servant. I am praying for the local officer who was also shot and injured,” the governor said in a statement.
“But what we know right now is a New Mexico law enforcement officer has been killed in the line of duty and I am horrified as we grieve another life cut down, another family crushed by senseless violence in our state,” the statement read.
“Violent crime is a scourge on New Mexico, and the men and women who step up and put on the badge to protect our communities fight it with everything they’ve got every day. We are and must remain grateful for their heroic service every single day – and moments like this remind us why,” the statement continued.