Police shoot suspected truck thief during officer’s funeral

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A law enforcement team is investigating an officer involved shooting in Las Cruces. It happened just as Officer Jose Chavez’s memorial was wrapping up there Sunday evening.

Las Cruces police say it all started around 3:00 p.m., Sunday. They were dispatched to a man suspected of stealing a pick-up truck. Police spotted the car and the driver stopped on a bridge just above I-25.

Officers say the suspect got out of the pickup holding a knife, and police opened fire shooting the man at least once. The suspect later died at the hospital.

The officers involved were not hurt, they are now on paid administrative leave.

Police say they’ve identified the suspect but aren’t releasing his name.

Las Cruces police and a special task force made up of local law enforcement are investigating the case.

The suspect’s name has not been released.

One witness posted cellphone video of the incident to Facebook. He said it was upsetting to his family watching from the car.

He described what happened saying, “the driver of the white Silverado, he went straight, took the red light, he stopped put his hazard lights on and started running in the middle of the road, so obviously that caught everyone’s attention,” Elias Estrada said.

The video can be viewed below, or click here for mobile users.

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