LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows what led to a shootout between a man and Los Lunas police late last month. A New Mexico police officer was checking on a driver stuck in the sand dunes while off-roading. It ended in a foot chase across I-25 in Los Lunas. At around 8 a.m. on a cold January morning, Los Lunas Police pulled up to an SUV after neighbors reported a vehicle off-roading on private property.
The driver, Jerry Yalch, got his girlfriend’s Ford Expedition stuck in the sand. Police noticed something was off right away. The officer asks for Yalch’s driver’s license which he said he does not have and admits it may not be valid anyway. Yalch then says he has a warrant for speeding tickets in Grants. However, police learn that Yalch had another warrant for a felony in August. That warrant was a road rage incident where police say he pointed a gun at a mom and her 15-year-old child who has special needs.
In the video, police tell Yalch to get out of the SUV but Yalch then barricades himself inside and one officer sees him reach into the backseat. Officers know the SUV cannot go anywhere but Yalch soon decides to flee on foot. Officers say Yalch turned around and fired at least one shot at them and three officers returned fire. Yalch was hit in the leg and officers put him in handcuffs. Officers helped stop the bleeding from Yalch’s leg until paramedics arrived. Yalch has a long criminal history including arrests for child abuse, aggravated assault, and drugs.