New Mexico

New Mexico State Officer Killed, Suspect Dead After Post-Chase Shootout

Darian Jarrott, a 28-year-old father of three with a fourth on the way, was killed during a traffic stop Thursday

New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott.
New Mexico State Police

A New Mexico State Police officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Thursday and authorities chased the suspect, killing him in a shootout, officials said.

The officer, identified as 28-year-old Darian Jarrott, was killed when Omar Felix Cueva, 39, fired at least one shot during a traffic stop near the town of Deming, state police said.

Jarrott was assisting federal Homeland Security Investigations before the traffic stop, police said.

New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton said police are aware that that the suspect was on his way to Las Cruces "to engage in a drug interaction or a drug buy," but it wasn't immediately clear if that was the reason for the HSI investigation, NBC News reports.

After the shooting, Cueva fled and was spotted by state police traveling east on Interstate 10. Cueva pulled onto an exit and fired at police, officials said.

A chase then began, officers successfully used "tire deflation devices" at one point, officials said.

A Las Cruces police officer then used a "pursuit intervention technique" to stop the truck, according to the state police statement. The move typically means a pursuing police vehicle is used to push another vehicle at an angle from behind, NBC News reports.

The two shooting scenes were around 40 miles apart, state police said

Cueva lived in the Deming area, and search warrants were being executed Thursday night, Thornton said.

Jarrott, a father of three, was expecting a fourth this year, Thornton said. He was certified as a law enforcement officer in 2014, worked with the former department of public safety's motor transportation division, and was sworn in as a state police officer in 2015, police said.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered all flags at state buildings lowered to half-staff from Friday to Tuesday to honor the State Police officer killed in the line of duty.

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