LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A Las Cruces Police Department officer who shot and killed a woman with dementia last year has qualified immunity against a federal lawsuit. Jared Cosper opened fire after a brief but tense exchange with Amerlia Baca.

The city settled a state lawsuit over Baca’s death for nearly $3M. Baca’s family also filed a federal suit claiming her constitutional rights were violated. Cosper challenged the counts against him citing his qualified immunity protections. Judge Robert Brack dropped those counts ruling that the plaintiffs did not do enough to prove Cosper violated Baca’s rights and he is therefore entitled to his qualified immunity.