New Mexico officer dies after shooting at traffic stop; 3 arrested

Posted at 10:19 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-13 10:14:35-04

By Faith Karimi and Joe Sutton


(CNN) — A police officer is dead and three suspects are in custody after a shooting at a traffic stop in New Mexico, authorities say.

Officer Jose Chavez, 33, was shot when he pulled over a vehicle in Hatch on Friday, according to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department.

“Another Hatch officer had just arrived at the traffic stop to assist the first officer when a passenger from the vehicle exited and fired shots,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Chavez was rushed to a hospital, where he had surgery before he was pronounced dead.

Suspects flee scene

The suspects fled the scene and traveled south on Interstate 25, at times exceeding speeds of 100 mph, according to authorities. The assisting officer tried to pursue them without success.

About 25 minutes after the initial traffic stop, the suspects exited at a rest stop, where one carjacked a red Chevrolet Cruze, authorities said. Its owner was shot during the carjacking, and was transported to the hospital, the sheriff’s department said.

Sheriff’s deputies saw the Cruze and pursued the car, deploying a tire-deflating device that successfully flattened its tires.

Chavez was a two-year veteran of the Hatch Police Department.

Developing story – more to come