NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Newly-obtained video shows the day a New Mexico State Police officer was shot while trying to stop a fleeing suspect in Sedillo. It was a violent confrontation on a bridge full of traffic, first thing in the morning. The officer survived a gunshot to the neck but remained calm the entire time.
It started at a gas station in Edgewood. The clerk suspected a woman was doing drugs in the bathroom and asks for help. State police block in the vehicle to go investigate and walks up to the car and within a second, it takes a turn and the chase begins.
After nearly seven miles, the chase comes to an end with a quick move by the suspect and the officer within seconds. The officer, Jeremy Vaughan, pauses to get his composure and runs for cover but quickly realizes the suspects are gone.
“I’m hit and bleeding. Subjects are fleeing, female and male,” Officer Vaughan says in a lapel video from that day.
He maintains remarkable composure and keeps an eye out while waiting for backup, keeping dispatch informed the whole time. “I think I’m okay. I’m bleeding, shot through the shoulder. Possibly the chest,” Officer Vaughan says. “Subjects fleeing westbound. Having a little trouble breathing.”
It isn’t long before a bystander and fellow officer arrive to help. Still, Officer Vaughan shows great composure.
Meanwhile, the search for that suspect gets underway. It covered Albuquerque, Moriarty, the East Mountains, and everywhere in between. It would be 24 hours before officers would have the accused shooter, Caleb Elledge.
He had quite a story that’s very different from the video. “He just starts banging on the window, trying the door handle, saying ‘get the f*** out of the car, get the f*** out of the car, hey hey’ so he’s saying.. so I f**** backed up and took off. It freaked me out,” Elledge said to investigators.
Elledge continued, “That f**** officer was violent dude. I mean, what am I suppose to do, you know what I mean?”
“I’m like ‘f*** that.’ So I back up again and he hits us again, BOOM! This time, we are stuck you know what I’m saying, then I just wrecked it,” said Elledge. “I told my chick to sit back and started shooting, you know what I mean? I wasn’t trying to hurt the dude, you know, but he was trying to hurt us though.”
The woman in the car with Elledge, Allana Martinez, was arrested with him that day. She was charged with harboring or aiding a felon but not for the shooting. As for the officer, he did have that bullet removed form his back, 11 days after the shooting.