Witness Sheds New Light on Officer Involved Shooting in Las Cruces

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POSTED: Monday, December 19, 2011 - 7:16pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 11:42pm

LAS CRUCES – A man who heard gunshots and witnessed the aftermath of an officer involved shooting Saturday tells NewsChannel 9 it appeared that the man was running away when police shot him.

Las Cruces police say officers shot and killed 37-year-old Robert Montes because he fired at them first.

"My blinds were closed. I was watching TV when it all happened," says Charley Trego.

He lives in a home just feet from where the shooting happened. Trego was watching TV in his living room around 11:30 p.m. Saturday when he heard the crackle of gunfire outside.

"I woke up to hear loud yelling and then heard pop, pop, pop, pop,” he says. “Several shots were fired."

Trego ran to the window an looked outside. He says there were at least 4 police officers standing over Montes' body.

"At that point police pretty much blocked off the area and closed things down," says Trego.

According to Las Cruces Police Department spokesperson Kiri Daines, it started when officers got a call about a fight near the intersection of Espina and Foster. Police say Montes was driving a vehicle that matched the description on one believed to be involved in the fight. They pulled him over at the intersection of Espina and Boutz. That's when police say Montes opened fire.

"Officers returned fire and the subject was killed," says Daines.

Trego says it looked as though Montes had tried to run away because his body was about 50 feet away from his vehicle.

"Police had chased or followed him because he was over there on the sidewalk. It looked like he tried to make a run for it," said Trego.

A woman in the vehicle with Montes wasn't hurt.

Police couldn't tell us how many officers were involved or how many times Montes was shot.

The officers that were involved are on paid administrative leave That's standard procedure for an officer involved shooting. The names of the officers involved have not been released. Police couldn't even tell us if Montes was involved in that fight they were called out to.

No police officers were hurt in the shooting.

Comments News Comments

We have less than professional news casters in this town. Look at how they dress. The new weather guy on Channel 9 looks like his sport coats are one or two sizes too big. Pittiful.

shame on tha men that are supposed to be protecting us not killing us i live down the street from where this murder took place and watched these police officers kill a man that was already in handcuffs!!!!!! these men need to take the blame of killing a man who had no gun and was already handcuffed just like the other two murders that happend in the last two years involving our so called protecters!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Sammy, since you were an eye witness, I imagine we will soon see you being interviewed for the evening news? After all, if you actually saw someone get murdered, that's a truly news worthy event! How about it KTSM, can we expect you to follow up on this lead?

police officers are just a bunch of power trippers who waist there time on the wrong things. So what if they actually had to fight some real crime. At least someone is keeping them on there toes. cops are jokes they are not your friends they are just part of our corrupt justice system. Serve and protect, sure themselves. And why would they keep shooting after he was running away? Just because he had a criminal past doesn't mean he did'nt have a good heart. he was still someones son, dad, friend

News Channel 9, have you lost your collective minds?! Your "witness" states upfront that the blinds were closed and he saw nothing until after the shooting stopped. Yet you build up this story as though the witness is shedding light on something. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, you are building up distrust with no facts to back them up.

Shame on you for running this story and making police/public relations worse. This man was not a witness. He heard shots then went to his window. He doesn't know who shot first. He could only say what it looked like after the fact. All you have done with this story is fanned the flames, making police officers more hated. Be more responsible in your reporting!!

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