Man Shot and Killed by Las Cruces Police

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POSTED: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 8:52pm

UPDATED: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 5:25pm

UPDATE: Las Cruces Police Department has identified the man involved in Saturday night's shooting as Robert Montes, 37, of Las Cruces.  

According to  Seargeant Kiri Daines, spokesperson for LCPD, officers responded to a call about a fight in progress at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday near Espina and Foster.

Officers stopped Montes' vehicle, which was also occupied by a woman.  During the traffic stop, police said Montes fired at the officers.

Officers returned gunfire.  Montes died at the scene.   
 

LAS CRUCES - There's a lot of questions surrounding a deadly shooting involving Las Cruces Police Officers, like what led to the shooting and why are witnesses telling a different story about what happened.

"I heard gunshots, and I looked back outside and I saw the cops shooting at a guy who was running," Ashley Marquez said.

Marquez tells a different story about what happened Saturday night when Las Cruces Police Officers shot and killed a man.

Officers say they were questioning people near Espina and Boutz Street about a fight when a man started shooting at them.

"A male subject opened fire on our officers, and officers returned fire and that subject is now deceased," Las Cruces Police Sergeant Kiri Daines said.

Marquez claims the officers had just pulled over a car at gunpoint. She says they were arresting the driver when the passenger got out and started running. According to her story, that's when officers shot and killed him.

"That's when I saw the guys body on the ground," Marquez said.

All day long, police blocked off the street as they investigated the shooting. Investigators climbed up ladders to take pictures of nearby apartments that may have been hit by bullets.

Although the LCPS's version of what happened differs from a witness, they still aren't ready to say why that man may have tried to hurt or kill the officers.

"That's currently all under investigation. So, I wouldn't care to speculate on that now. I don't know the reason or the motive behind the subject opening fire on us," Sgt. Daines said.

A team of officers from the New Mexico State Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office, NMSU and the Las Cruces Police Department are investigating the shooting. As for the officers involved in the shooting, they're on standard paid administrative leave.

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