GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – Dash camera video reveals the moments police officers dodged cinder blocks and other random items being thrown out of the back of a truck while trying to end a pursuit in early June. The chase ended with a fatal crash on Interstate 40 outside of Gallup, killing the driver, Gerald John, 25 of Brimhall, New Mexico and passenger Ray Lee Jim, 21 of Wingate, New Mexico.
According to State Police, the pursuit started just before midnight on June 5, after two Gallup Police officers tried to stop the suspects who were accused of brandishing a gun. Gallup Police officers initially tried to contact the suspects in the parking lot of the Redwood Lodge motel. Police video shows the suspects took off in a white Dodge pickup truck as officers tried to get out of their vehicles.
Dash camera video captured the moments officers followed the truck westbound on U.S. Route 66 toward Interstate 40 at speeds topping 80 mph. At multiple points in the pursuit, the suspect’s truck was driving on the wrong side of the road.
Within minutes, video shows the suspects’ truck turn on to I-40 while driving with a flat tire. During the pursuit, the video shows the suspects threw a tire, a gas canister, a couple of bicycles, a shovel and several cinder blocks at the officers who were tailing the suspects. The suspects also crossed over to the opposite traffic lanes while on I-40, going eastbound in westbound traffic.
According to NMSP, a State Police sergeant fired a shotgun at the suspects during the pursuit. Shortly after that, the suspect vehicle crashed head-on into a semi-truck. State Police say Jim and John sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.
It’s unclear if either of the suspects were hit with State Police gunfire. The crash happened roughly one minute after at least one shot was fired. Gallup Police had stopped pursuing the truck shortly before the crash took place. Both suspects were ejected from the truck in the crash. State Police say the occupants inside of the semi-truck were not injured.
State Police say the driver, Gerald John had two active felony warrants related to charges including attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and car theft.