POSTED: Monday, December 19, 2011 - 6:16pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 10:42pm
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.