NM State Police identify man accused of holding child hostage in Hatch

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New Mexico State Police have idenitifed the suspect involved in a standoff in Hatch earlier this week as James Kirkland, 39.

Officials say Kirkland was also wanted out of Louisiana for allegedly kidnapping his wife.

He was booked into the Dona Ana County Jail without bond on the following charges: Two counts of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, abuse of a child, careless driving, reckless driving, battery against a household member, aggravated fleeing from an officer, and interference with communication.


A New Mexico State Police officer shot a man who was holding a child hostage during a standoff in Hatch.

The man had allegedly led Border Patrol agents on a chase on Interstate 25, which ended at about milepost 37, a New Mexico State Police news release said.

There the man armed himself and barricaded himself inside the vehicle with a 7-year-old child, the release said.

“During the standoff, a State Police officer fired their department-issued weapon striking the suspect,” the release said. “The child was safely rescued, and the suspect was airlifted to an area hospital.”

The suspect’s condition is unknown, but the child and officers were uninjured. 

Police said the investigation is in the preliminary stages and more information will be released as it becomes available. The incident is being treated as an officer-involved shooting. 

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