Suspect captured after two-day manhunt in fatal shooting of New Mexico State Police officer


A suspect is in custody following a two-day manhunt in the case of a New Mexico State Police officer who was shot and killed on a highway near the small city of Tucumcari last week.

Jaremy Smith.
Jaremy Smith.New Mexico State Police

Jaremy Smith was captured following an officer-involved shooting on Sunday with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico state police said in a brief statement to social media on Sunday. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office reported earlier that its deputies were involved in a shooting but did not provide further details.

Officer Justin Hare, 35, was shot around 5 a.m. local time Friday morning when he responded to a call of a driver with a flat tire on Interstate 40 near milepost 318, state police previously said. He was shot without warning and died after being transported to a local hospital.

Authorities identified Smith, a 32-year-old man from South Carolina, as the suspect in the case.

New Mexico State Police Chief Troy Weisler said Smith approached the passenger side of Hare’s patrol vehicle and, after a short conversation in which Hare offered him a ride to town, Smith allegedly opened fire without warning.

Smith allegedly walked to the driver’s side, opened fire on the officer again, pushed him to its passenger side, got in the patrol vehicle and drove off, the chief said.

Hare was not responding to radio traffic and later appeared to have been able to depress a panic button common on police radios, alerting colleagues to his situation, Weisler said.

A responding officer saw Hare’s patrol vehicle traveling in the opposite direction and tried to catch up, but by the time the officer reached the vehicle, it had crashed on an interstate frontage road and was abandoned, he said.

Hare was found along the same frontage road, the chief said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died at 7:21 a.m. Friday, state police said in a statement.

The suspect had vanished.

Smith has a criminal history in South Carolina, including allegations of hostage taking, burglary and armed robbery, Weisler said. He also has spent time in Albuquerque, he said.

The vehicle with the flat tire belonged to a paramedic in Marion County, South Carolina — Phenesia Machado-Fore, 52 — who was found murdered Friday after she was reported missing from the area, the chief said.

Smith is a person of interest in the South Carolina case, he said.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *