ROSWELL,N.M. (KRQE) - As part of New Mexico's continuing centennial celebrations, a legendary lawman was honored Saturday morning in Roswell. The man known for ending the Billy the Kid saga, Pat Garrett, was celebrated in grand fashion.
"The daily work to simply live made men give their best. Pat gave his life to New Mexico, Pat Garrett stood the test," Mike Joy read from a poem at the dedication ceremony.
The first monument in the nation dedicated to the memory of Pat Garrett was unveiled Saturday behind the Chaves County courthouse in Roswell. Those involved said it's been a long time coming.
"It's a delight to see so many people come out because we worked long and hard, five long years we worked on this," said Stuart Pritchard, chairman of Pat Garrett statue committee.
Garrett is famous for shooting and killing Billy the Kid in 1881. Saturday, residents, historians, and even Garrett's family members gathered for the dedication.
"My father grew up in a time when Hollywood was making Pat Garrett look like a you know, back-shooter, ruthless sheriff," said J.P. Garrett, Pat Garrett's grandson.
But historians say that's not true. That in fact, Garrett brought a new law and order to New Mexico that should be recognized.
Standing more than 14 feet tall, the bronze image is of Garrett on horseback, loading the gun he used to shoot Billy the Kid.
The larger-than-life Pat Garrett statue weighs about 3,000 pounds and it's only 3/16 of an inch thick. The sculptor said if it were solid bronze it would weigh around 80,000 pounds.
The giant memorial represents Garrett's connection to Roswell, both as a sheriff, and a vital part of early water rights issues in the Pecos Valley.
"Now Pat has hung his saddle up, no more will he ride by, but the men and women of Chaves County won't let his memory die," Joy finished.
In addition to the memorial, Governor Susana Martinez declared Saturday March 31, Pat Garrett recognition day across the state.
An Albuquerque Police officer involved shooting over the weekend marks the fifth since late October and city officials are taking notice.
A woman was stolen from her daughter's car, a woman who died more than five years ago.
Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Sunday night after responding to an assault call near UNM.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
New Mexico could have hundreds of millions of dollars more to spend as legislators get ready to put together next year's budget in the upcoming legislative session.
Organizers of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl are hoping to shed the disappointing attendance numbers that weighed down the event last year when the Colorado State Rams and the Washington State Cougars face off Dec. 21.