Clint Corvinus, a field training officer with the Alamogordo Police Department, has been killed in a deadly shooting with a suspect on Friday. The death of Cornivus marks the second murder of a New Mexico police officer in less than a month and has sparked calls for more efforts to protect law enforcement officers.
According to ABC-7, Corvinus and a trainee were patrolling near South Florida Avenue when he spotted a suspect with active warrants. The suspect, identified as Joseph Moreno, 38, had three outstanding arrest warrants and was scheduled to appear in court in December last year, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
The officers proceeded to chase the suspect on foot. Police said upon entering an alley, the suspect opened fire on the police officers. Both Corvinus and Moreno sustained gunshot wounds. While Moreno died at the scene, Corvinus was transported to a nearby hospital before he was pronounced dead.
Police say Clint Corvinus, who grew up with Alamogordo, had been with the force for about four years. He is survived by his 8-year-old daughter, his parents, and his girlfriend.
Alamogordo Police Chief K. Daron Syling said the police department received “direct threat” from Moreno’s associates after he was killed in the shootout with Corvinus, ABC-7 reported. Syling said tactical teams, including police helicopters, have been requested as the department stayed on high alert.
Moreno is described as a gang member in a Facebook memorial for Clint Corvinus. The charges against Moreno include weapons and drug possession. He reportedly spent some time in prison and was released in 2015, the Albuquerque Journal reported. A mugshot of Moreno shows a tattoo of skeleton teeth on his jaw. A witness revealed that Moreno’s sister was among the people who gathered at the scene moments after the shooting, KVIA reported.
The New Mexico police shooting has sent the community into mourning. According to AP, flags were flown at half-mast at the local police department. Residents also left flowers outside the office in memory of Corvinus.
Clint Corvinus is the second New Mexico police officer killed in a shooting in less than a month. On August 12, New Mexico police officer Jose Chavez, 33, was killed by a suspect he pulled over at a traffic stop in Hatch, CBS 6 reported. The suspect, who opened fire on the officer, was later arrested after escaping from the scene of the shooting.
“I am again so very saddened to see that yet another courageous law enforcement officer has been killed in the line of duty,” she said. “The violence against our police officers has to end, and we must do everything we can to stand up for those who put their lives on the line every single say to protect us.”
Gov. Martinez has said she would push for the imposition of the death penalty for crimes such as the murder of law enforcement officers and the murder of children.
Since the death penalty was established in 1976, only one person was executed in New Mexico, before it was repealed in 2009 by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Gov. Martinez has vowed to make a stand for reinstating the death penalty when the New Mexico Legislature holds its next session in 2017, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. While some Republicans have supported Gov. Martinez’s call, Democrats have opposed the move.
According to a tribute for Clint Corvinus on Facebook, an account has been created at the Western Bank for donations to his family. The tribute described him as “Brave,” “Compassionate,” and “Fair.”
[Photo by Alamogordo Police Department via AP]