A vigil was held in Hatch, New Mexico on Saturday to remember fallen officer Jose Chavez, who was killed in the line of duty on Friday.
Dozens of friends, family members and colleagues were at the vigil. Patricia Ramirez and Lupita Chavez say that they want their brother Jose to be remembered as the friendly, kind man he was.
“He was a hug loving person, huge heart,” says Ramirez. “It’s sad that they took him away from us. Awe, he was a good guy, a really good guy, a great person, and it sucks.”
Ramirez say her brother put on his police uniform everyday because he loved what did. Chavez was a police officer with the Hatch Village Police Department for 2 years. Prior to that he was a graduate of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Cadet Law Enforcement Academy.
According to authorities, Chavez was killed during a traffic stop in Hatch.They say 38-year-old Jesse Hanes and 36-year old James Nelson are the two suspects responsible for the fatal shooting.
“Detectives learned Hanes had an outstanding aggravated murder warrant out of Ohio,” says Kelly Jameson with the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say Hanes shot Chavez, and then took off in a silver vehicle with Nelson and another person they initially believed to be a suspect. They then lead authorities on a chase, eventually abandoning the silver vehicle in Radium Springs. Authorities later found out that the third man was a hitch hiker that Hanes and Nelson picked up. The third man is now being treated as a witness in the case.
“We reported yesterday that there was a car-jacking in Radium Springs– Hanes overpowered that person overtaking his vehicle and allegedly shot him once,” Jameson says. The vehicle car jacked was described as a red Chevy Cruze. While Hanes left in the vehicle, authorities say Nelson escaped on foot.
The manhunt eventually ended after authorities spotted the red vehicle and stopped it using spike strips. They say Nelson was apprehended in Rincon later on.
And when asked what the Chavez family had to say to the men responsible?
“Oh god no words it’s not worth mentioning this is not– were going to give them that attention. They don’t deserve it,” says Ramirez and his friend Enrique Maldonado.
The Chavez family says Chavez leaves behind many family members including his 14 and 5-year-old daughters.