Phoenix Police arrest suspect accused of shooting Farmington Police officer

Crime

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The man accused of shooting a Farmington Police Department officer has been arrested. FPD reports that Elias Buck was arrested early Friday morning in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Buck is accused of shooting Officer Joseph Barreto in the right arm last Friday during a DUI investigation. A warrant was issued for his arrest on January 8 for charges of aggravated battery on a peace officer with a deadly weapon.

Officials with the Farmington Police Department stated on Monday that Officer Barreto had successful surgery over the weekend. “It’s an event we haven’t had up here in 30 years… an officer shot. So it was a singular event; very traumatizing to the department, very long week. Officers are tired,” said Farmington Police Chief, Steve Hebbe.


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Police state that just after midnight on Jan. 14, a tip came into the Phoenix Police Department that Buck and Victoria “Rossi” Hernandez were at a Quiktrip Convenience Store in Phoenix, Arizona. “A subject similar to that description would be in a specific area in Phoenix… officers went out there and during their initial first contact… they weren’t able to find him,” said Sgt. Vincent Cole with the Phoenix Police Department.

Buck and Hernandez weren’t there when police first arrived but a security guard recognized them later and called police. Officers went out a second time and spotted Buck. They arrested him after a short foot chase.

Elias Buck

No officers were injured during his arrest. Police say Hernandez was released pending the ongoing investigation. Chief Hebbe says she could face an aiding and abetting charge. He says they will send a team of investigators out to Phoenix soon.

Buck is awaiting extradition back to New Mexico. Phoenix police say he was not armed. Buck will also have to face escape charges in Colorado and now, charges in Arizona related to trying to flee Friday.

Chief Hebbe released the following statement:

This is the culmination of a very emotional week for FPD. We look forward to working closely with the district attorney as this case moves through the courts, so we can achieve our goals of holding all people involved in this incident accountable and keeping our citizens and officers safe.”

FPD Chief Steve Hebbe

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