FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Newly released video shows just how quickly the situation escalated when a Farmington police officer came face-to-face with a man who broke out of a county jail. Lapel video shows the moments leading up to last week’s shooting involving escaped inmate, 22-year-old Elias Buck, and his girlfriend.
Farmington Police Officer Joseph Barreto was responding to reports of a drunk driver Friday night when he came across a man and woman on foot. They seemed friendly at first but not even 30 seconds into the interaction, things took a scary turn. Farmington Police say Buck pulled a gun from his pocket and opened fire, hitting Officer Barreto in the right arm. Buck was wanted for escaping the La Plata County Jail on December 27 after his arrest for a high-speed chase in a stolen car.
Authorities say the woman with him is Buck’s girlfriend, 28-year-old Victoria Hernandez. Both of them got away as Officer Barreto called for backup. The department says Officer Barreto’s surgery over the weekend went well.
The sheriff’s office says Buck has said he will “not go back to jail” and that he is very dangerous. Buck and Hernandez are still on the run. The U.S. Marshals Service is now offering up to $10,000 for reliable information leading to Buck’s arrest.