Newly released disturbing dashcam video reportedly shows a gunman shooting and killing a New Mexico state police officer after the officer initiated a traffic stop. The gunman himself later died in a shootout with police after a 40-mile highway chase with cops from numerous law enforcement agencies in pursuit.
The incident occurred on February 4, 2021, but the video embedded below apparently has just been released depicting the deadly encounter in which New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott, a father of four, tragically lost his life in what started out as a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10 near the city of Deming.
Officer Jarrott, 28, approached the passenger-side window of the white Chevy pickup and communicated with the driver in a very professional manner asking for his license, registration, and proof of his insurance in the standard manner.
He then asked the driver to accompany him to his cruiser where he intended to run his info through the law enforcement database, presumably the NCIC system or the equivalent.
Although the audio is somewhat muffled, the officer appears to ask the driver if he has a firearm, then inquiring, “do you mind if I take it off you for my safety?” There is some further inaudible dialogue, after which the driver gets out of the truck and opens fire on the officer with an AR-15 style rifle.
“Jarrott fell to the ground, at which point Cueva fired several more shots at him, including one at point-blank range to the back of the head,” Fox News reported.
Watch: Caution — Extreme Violence!
(Source: Police Activity)
A Homeland Security investigator arrived on the scene minutes later and notified authorities. A dragnet then ensued.
Multiple police agencies pursued the truck, and officers successfully utilized tire deflation devices on Cueva’s pickup. He continued to flee east on Interstate 10 and a number of law enforcement officers reportedly engaged the suspect in gunfire in the process.
Based on the appended bystander footage, cops executed what’s called a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver to finally bring the chase to a close.
At that juncture, the driver and cops exchanged gunfire. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. One officer was also shot and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital after being airlifted there and subsequently released.
Various news outlets identify the suspect as Omar Felix Cueva, 39.
State Police Chief Robert Thornton “said Cueva was on his way to Las Cruces to participate in a drug deal. The police chief described Cueva as having a ‘violent criminal history,’ including drug trafficking charges, but not in New Mexico,” the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
Jarrot became a sworn officer on the state police about six years ago after serving in other law enforcement positions in the state.
“Officer Darian Jarrott went out there today and was serving his state, his community the best way he knew how and I love him for that,” an emotional Thornton said on February 4 during a press conference.
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