Officers with the Las Cruces Police Department shot and killed a knife-armed robbery and car theft suspect yesterday at the same time officers from around the country were laying another officer to rest who was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Las Cruces police officers shot and killed a robbery and theft suspect Sunday afternoon.
The fatal shooting, caught on video by a passer-by, happened about 4:30 p.m. on the westbound lanes of the Lohman Avenue bridge over Interstate 25. Authorities, who said the man’s identity isn’t known, believe he had stolen a white pickup truck about an hour and a half earlier from the 1300 block of Lohman Avenue, according to the Las Cruces Police Department. The man is also a suspect in a robbery at that same address, police said.
After the white pickup was reported stolen, police spotted it on Lohman Avenue.
Preliminary information from the investigation appears to indicate the driver parked the pickup on Lohman Avenue, directly above I-25, and exited the vehicle, according to LCPD. Police say the man was armed with a knife when he confronted officers.
“The officers fired at the suspect, striking him at least once,” an LCPD news release states. “The suspect was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
The video is shot from too great of a distance to provide any pertinent details.
We can see three officers and the suspect walking down the road. We can’t seen the hands or facial features of anyone involved, much less capture any nuance of motion from any of the four men, nor audio. One officer comes behind the suspect in what appears to be a move to outflank him. Two others seem to be roughly paralleling him. The suspect then pitches forward onto his face, and a half-second later, we can hear what sounds like 5-6 distant shots.
I did not see anything obvious in the suspect’s behavior that would have caused the officers’ to open fire, but again, this video was filmed from a great distance, and shoot/don’t shoot decisions are often made based upon details that simply will not be captured on low-resolution cameras at such a distance.
The officer-involved shooting took place just as the funeral of Hatch (NM) Officer Jose Chavez was taking place in Las Cruces. Chavez was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Chavez became an American citizen in 2011 and became a police officer in 2014.