The incident began as a routine traffic stop near Franklin Avenue on Friday afternoon near a convenience store at about 3:41 P.M.. A second officer arrived on scene when one of the passengers got out of the car and opened fire striking the officer who had made the initial vehicle stop in the neck.
The second officer attempted to make an arrest but the suspect returned to the vehicle and fled the scene with the other two occupants of the vehicle. The backup officer called in that an officer was down and pursued the suspect vehicle with the three suspects inside.
Officer Jose Chavez, a second-year officer, was shot in the neck, according to Mayor Andy Nunez. Emergency medical aid was given to the injured officer on the scene for about 30 minutes prior to transporting him to the hospital.
As the backup officer attempted to pull over the suspect vehicle the suspects were able to get away as they were driving at speeds in excess of 100 MPH according to Kelly Jameson with the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department.
Shortly after 4 p.m., the suspects exited at a rest stop near Radium Springs, where one of the three exited the vehicle and allegedly carjacked a red Chevrolet Cruze that was parked at the rest stop. The owner of the vehicle was also shot and had to be airlifted to University Medical Center in El Paso.
Sheriff’s deputies spotted the Cruze, then deployed a tire-deflating device which successfully flattened the vehicle’s tires.
At about 5 p.m., the vehicle eventually turned into a residence in the 23000 block of N.M. 185. The suspect allegedly crashed the vehicle into a pile of wood and briefly barricaded himself in the vehicle before surrendering to the Sheriff’s Deputies. The suspect had suffered a gunshot wound to the right thigh.
Meanwhile, a passerby in the Rincon area alerted Sheriff’s Deputies to two subjects “acting suspicious” near the 2400 block of Rincon. Deputies responded and arrested two men believed to be involved in the shooting and carjacking at about 7:00 P.M.. The suspects were transported to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department for questioning.
The male suspect who suffered the injury to his leg is being treated at a hospital. He is under police supervision and will be arrested upon his release.
Officer Jose Chavez is said to be “good” condition at this time.
No names of any suspects have been released at this time.