NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police was called to investigate an officer-involved shooting June 20 at U.S. 380 and Cobern Ave. in Tatum, New Mexico. The shooting involved a New Mexico State Police Officer and the suspect, accused of armed robbery and carjacking who led police on a chase.
Police say around 4:30 p.m. the Roswell Police Department responded to an Allsup’s regarding an armed robbery and carjacking. When officers arrived the victim told officers the suspect, who has been identified as 27-year-old Joel Contreras, pointed a gun at him and took his GMC Denali pickup truck. The victim tracked the vehicle and gave officers its location.
According to NMSP, a Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy was able to locate the truck and tried to perform a traffic stop. When the deputy attempted a traffic stop, Contreras fled through Roswell and onto highway 380. Around 5:06 p.m. Lee County Sheriff’s Deputies and NMSP were asked to help in the pursuit. A LCSO deputy used tire deflating devices in an attempt to stop Contreras, he drove over them and continued on highway 380.
NMSP says two of its officers were parked off the road and got out of their vehicles. They say for reasons still being investigated when Contreras approached them in the vehicle one of officers fired at least one shot towards Contreras’ vehicle and struck it. Contreras continued to flee until he crashed and rolled the truck onto its side. He was taken into custody and booked into the Chaves County Detention Center after being treated and released from a hospital. Police say a 23-year-old female was also in the vehicle with Contreras, she was detained and then released. No officers were injured in the incident and the investigation is till ongoing.