Man who killed NM state police officer wielded an AR-15, police say

Local

Editor’s note: The following includes graphic details of gunfire exchanges

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – The man accused of killing New Mexico state police officer Darian Jarrott wielded an AR-15 style the day he engaged in several gun exchanges with law enforcement, New Mexico authorities say.

New Mexico State police released more information on the day accused shooter, Omar Felix Cueva drove down Interstate 10 exchanging gun shots with law enforcement. The new details show multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the incident and the different events from the day.

“We appreciate the public’s support during this difficult time,” Robert Thornton, chief of NMSP, said. “We will honor officer Jarrott’s sacrifice by continuing to serve and protect the citizens of New Mexico.”

Jarrott was laid to rest at Shakespeare Cemetery in Lordsburg on Feb. 12.

Cueva, 39, was killed on Feb. 4 after he allegedly shot and killed Jarrott leading to a chase that ended in Las Cruces.

Jarrott stopped Cueva in Deming while he was allegedly on the way to conduct a drug deal. Cueva then exited his car with an AR-15 style weapon and fired a shot at Jarrott, prompting the police officer to duck and fall on his back.

Cueva ran toward the back of his white Chevrolet pick-up truck and fired several more rounds that struck Jarrott and killed him, police say. Cueva then shot the policeman in the back of the head.

A Homeland Security Investigations agent arrived on the scene and notified the state police, initiating a pursuit of Cueva.

The alleged gunman headed East on Interstate 10 where he was met by two more state policemen. He pulled over on the highway and fired at the two law enforcement officers beginning a brief exchange.

Cueva then continued Eastward.

In Las Cruces, members of the local police department, sheriff’s office and U.S. Border Patrol assisted state police near the Picacho exit on the highway. State police used a tire deflation device that slowed Cueva’s truck. But he continued East.

Two sheriff’s department officers began exchanging gunfire with Cuevaas he continued East. A U.S. Border Patrol agent also fired a round at Cueva.

A Las Cruces Police Department officer then initiated a maneuver that brought the pickup to a stop when Cueva exited his truck and exchanged multiple gunshots with police. Cueva was struck several times and died on the scene. An LCPD officer was injured in the exchange and airlifted to a hospital.

NMSP say there is an ongoing investigation.

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