I-40 reopens following officer-involved shooting near Laguna

New Mexico News

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police reported one of their officers was involved in a shooting on Saturday. The shooting happened on westbound I-40 near mile marker 114, west of Route 66 Casino.

State Police said it all started when the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a woman just before 11 a.m. Saturday morning. She reported she had been shot by an unknown man, who then drove away in a gray Nissan SUV. NMSP tried stopping that SUV minutes later near I-40 but the car sped off in the eastbound lanes, took an exit, then got back into westbound traffic. Officers finally stopped the car near the Laguna exit by using a pit maneuver and the car crashed into a cable barrier in the median.

The driver then reportedly ignored orders from NMSP and Laguna Tribal Police to get out of the vehicle. Tribal Police shot a bean-bag round into the car, and the driver then reportedly fired a shot toward officers through the front windshield, and that’s when a State Police officer shot back.

“Immediately after, the male subject of the vehicle produced a firearm and fired a round toward our officers,” said New Mexico Police Chief Robert Thornton. “A New Mexico State police officer fired his duty issued firearm toward the subject, and the Laguna Police Department fired another less-lethal round toward the vehicle.”   

After the driver again gave no response to their commands to leave the vehicle, officers saw he was not moving and had a rifle in his lap. The driver died on scene and the NMSP Investigation Bureau is investigating.

The Valencia County Sheriff’s Department told KRQE the woman they said who was shot by the suspect did not know him and said she is in stable condition.

Officers said the interstate is back open. The suspect has still not been identified and the officer who shot him is on administrative leave.

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