The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired, a spokesman with the law enforcement agency said Friday.
Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez, a State Police spokesman, said he confirmed with State Police Chief Pete Kassetas that Officer Elias Montoya was no longer employed by the department. Montoya’s termination was effective at 5 p.m. Friday.
Montoya and another officer arrived after Farrell left the initial traffic stop and pulled over about a half mile later. When Farrell pulled away the second time, Montoya fired three shots at the minivan, which also was carrying Farrell’s five children. Montoya wrote in a police report that he aimed “at the left rear tire in an attempt to immobilize the vehicle.”
So here is my question. If the New Mexico State Police feel that shooting at the minivan is a firing offense for Montoya, why isn’t it also serious enough to warrant criminal charges?