NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – More details have been released about a hijacked prisoner transport van near Route 66 Casino Monday afternoon. According to a criminal complaint, a McKinley County deputy was transporting Josh Hall, Rickie Billie, and LaCosta Reeves when Hall said he couldn’t breathe and was having a heart attack. Initial reports stated the deputy was having a medical episode and pulled over.
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Police say the deputy pulled over near Route 66 Casino to help Hall. When the deputy got out to help Hall he attacked the deputy and tried to take his firearm in the struggle. The deputy didn’t know how Hall had removed his handcuffs. Hall was able to get in the driver’s seat of the van and drove off.
New Mexico State Police and Cibola County Sheriff’s were called to assist. A chase came to a stop after police crashed into the van about 30 miles away. “Cibola County Sheriff’s Office and NMSP were able to pin the vehicle in so it couldn’t move and Cibola Co. took Hall into custody,” said a spokesperson.
According to court records, Hall is also the man shot by a homeland security agent last Tuesday. The FBI says federal agents were working an operation at the Route 66 Travel Center when they approached a stolen pickup truck. Agents say Hall jumped in the truck and drove into an agent’s vehicle.
That’s when the agent opened fire, hitting Hall. He was taken to a hospital and released to the Metropolitan Detention Center early the next morning.
The McKinley County Sheriff’s Office says they had no idea Hall was involved in that shooting until after the fact. KRQE News 13 asked the US Attorney’s Office why the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office was not made aware. They said they cannot comment on the case. As for the other two inmates in the van, they’re being called “unwilling victims.” They are not facing additional charges.