Hatch Police Officer Shot During Routine Traffic Stop, Suspects In Custody

According to KRQE News 13, a Hatch police officer pulled someone over for a routine traffic stop on Franklin Street around 3:41 p.m. on Friday afternoon when the officer was shot. The Hatch police officer was walking over to the passenger side of the vehicle when one of the passengers from inside of the vehicle shot the Hatch police officer through the passenger side window.

The Hatch police officer who was shot during a routine traffic stop was transported by an air ambulance to the University Medical Center in El Paso. The Hatch police officer was shot in the neck by one of the passengers in the vehicle.

KOAT reports that a second police officer proceeded to chase the vehicle south on I-25. The vehicle ended up getting off at a rest stop near Radium Springs, New Mexico. The suspects abandoned the vehicle they were chasing and carjacked a red Chevy Cruze. The suspects also shot the driver of the vehicle they carjacked.

Like the Hatch police officer who was shot during the traffic stop, the carjacking victim was also transported to the University Medical Center in El Paso for care. The condition of the carjacking victim is unknown at this time.

A total of three suspects are currently in custody for shooting the Hatch police officer during a routine traffic stop and shooting the carjacking victim.

KVIA reports a carjacking and high-speed police chase (where speeds exceed 100 miles per hour) ended with one Hatch police officer shot and I-25 closed between Hatch and Las Cruces. Initially, the name of the Hatch police officer was not revealed out of respect for the family. However, the mayor of Hatch did release the name of the police officer late Friday night.

Jose Chavez is the name of the police officer who was shot during the routine traffic stop. Chavez is a second-year Hatch police officer. A medical team worked on the police officer for roughly 30 minutes before he was airlifted to El Paso.

“He appeared to be in pretty good shape.” The mayor of Hatch claimed when revealing the name of the police officer.

UPDATE: It is now being reported by KRQE News that the officer has passed away.

It has been confirmed that all three suspects in this carjacking, high-speed police chase, and shooting of a Hatch police officer are in custody. Officials have also reopened the highway to the public.

It was a second police officer who witnessed the shooting when arriving at the scene and radioed for backup. After calling for backup for Chavez, the second police officer did make an attempt to chase after the suspects. Because the suspects were driving more than 100 miles per hour, the police officer was never able to capture them.

When deputies later spotted the vehicle the suspects had carjacked, they deployed tire-deflating devices. The devices were successful in deflating the tires of the carjacked vehicle. It was at roughly 5:00 p.m. when the vehicle turned into a residential area and crashed into a pile of wood. The driver of the vehicle attempted to barricade himself inside of the carjacked vehicle. Eventually, he did surrender to the police officers who had surrounded him. The driver and suspect who was now in custody was discovered to be suffering from a gunshot wound to his right thigh.

While apprehending the driver, a passerby alerted local authorities that two subjects were acting very suspicious near the 2400 block of Rincon. The deputies responded and arrested the two men who were believed to be part of the police officer-involved shooting and carjacking. The other two men were taken into custody at about 7:00 p.m., nearly four hours after the Hatch police officer was originally shot during the traffic stop.

The suspects have been transported to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department and are currently being questioned. The driver who suffered the gunshot wound is being treated at a local hospital. He is under police supervision and will be arrested after the doctors release him.

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