NM State Police officer shot & killed; Suspected gunman dead after I-10 shoot-out

News

Las Cruces police officer injured

*Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout the evening with new information and witness interviews

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — A New Mexico State officer and a gunman are dead following two shootouts and a high-speed chase on Thursday on Interstate 10 in Southern New Mexico, according to NMSP.

New Mexico State Police say there are investigating two separate scenes. The first is in Luna County, N.M., where a state police officer was shot and killed.

The second scene is about 60 miles to the west in Las Cruces, where authorities shot and killed the alleged gunman.

A Las Cruces Police Department spokesman confirmed an police officer was wounded.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in Thursday’s events.

A dramatic video obtained by KTSM shows the chase end in a shootout on the interstate.

In the video, a white, single-cab pickup is pushed by Las Cruces Police Department unit and travels in reverse before the driver exits the vehicle and fires a gun at police. In response, officer fire back. At least a dozen gunshots are exchanged between the suspect and police.

The man behind the video is Las Cruces resident Austin Contreras who says he saw everything.

“Before it was even stopped like it was still sliding and he jumped out and started shooting at the cops,” said Contreras.

Contreras says he was working near I-10 and started recording when he saw the freeway being blocked off.

“Like now being hours later everything sets in and I mean it’s scary any of us could of died,” said Contreras.

Another man who lives nearby where the shooting happened tells KTSM he heard everything.

“I was standing outside my house and I just heard pop,pop, pop, pop, pop a bunch of gunshots. and came over to where it happened here on I-10 and the body was laying on the road,” said Mark Hines who lives nearby. “It was pretty scary I don’t think anybody likes to hear that.”

After the gunshots stop, police walk over to the suspect and appear to kick the gun away from his body.

Las Cruces Police spokesperson Dan Trujillo confirmed they are assisting New Mexico State Police on I-10 and have closed all of I-10 in both directions from Exit 142 at University Avenue to Exit 135 near West Picacho Avenue. Law enforcement says I-10 is closed at MP 101 in Luna County. Motorists should expect significant delays as the investigation continues.

On Thursday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will order all flags to half-staff in the state of New Mexico in honor of the officer who was killed.

“I am shocked, heartbroken and enraged by the loss of this public servant,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “I am praying for the local officer who was also shot and injured.”

Lujan Grisham said the investigation continues and she intends to get all he facts about the incident.

“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,” she said. “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 New Mexico State Police put their lives on the line to help keep us safe. I join all New Mexico and the New Mexico State Police community in grieving this senseless, heinous loss.”

Flags will be ordered to be flown at half-staff from Friday, Feb. 5, through sundown Tuesday, Feb. 9.

KTSM has a crew en route to the scene and will update this story as additional information becomes available.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

California Correspondent Latest Stories

More Salvador Rivera

El Paso Correspondent Latest Stories

More Julian Resendiz

South Texas Correspondent Latest Stories

More Sandra Sanchez

Border Report Correspondents' Stories

Latest Stories

Washington D.C.

More Washington D.C.
borderlogo

About Border Report

The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.