LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – The Las Cruces Police Department is investigating the death of a man who is suspected of firing at least one round of officers during a traffic stop, according to a LCPD news release.
An LCPD officer initiated a traffic stop Saturday on a vehicle near the intersection of 5th Street and Wilson Avenue, LCPD Detective Frank Torres said.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that during the traffic stop the vehicle came to an abrupt stop and the driver, a male, immediately opened fire, shooting at least one round at the officers in the two-man police unit,” Torres said.
According to the LCPD release, both officers returned fire at the subject before the subject, leading to a car chase that stopped near 4th Street and Davis Avenue.
Torres said that the subject did not comply with the officers’ commands to surrender, thus the New Mexico State Police SWAT team arrived.
The New Mexico State Police SWAT team arrived and the Las Cruces Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team also responded to communicate with the subject in an effort to gain his compliance and peaceful surrender to authorities. The subject did not comply with commands to surrender and after remaining in his vehicle for more than two hours, the subject was no longer communicating with authorities.
“A chemical agent was introduced into the suspect vehicle in a further effort to gain the subject’s compliance and surrender,” Torres said.
The driver exited his vehicle and reached back to his vehicle. Officers responded by firing multiple rounds, hitting the subject, Torres said in the release.
The subject received medical attention to treat his injuries, but was declared dead at the scene. According to the release, a handgun was located in the area where the subject was reaching into his vehicle.
A civilian who was wounded during the incident was taken to the University Medical Center in El Paso to treat a gunshot wound. The civilian is in stable condition, Torres said.
A multi-agency task force consisting of the LCPD, New Mexico State Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, and New Mexico State University Police are investigating the incident.
The name of the suspect was not revealed.