A New Mexico State Police officer was shot, then returned fire, killing a suspect Sunday morning on I-25 in Albuquerque.
Investigators were on scene for hours, well into the day, piecing together what led up to the deadly encounter.
“Approximately 2 a.m. this morning one of our officers was involved in a traffic stop on I-25 southbound…near the 222-23 mile marker,” said Deputy Chief Robert Eshom.
Police say an NMSP officer pulled over a blue Honda for speeding near the Lead-Coal exit and noticed the car’s paperwork didn’t match up.
While the officer was speaking to the passenger of the car, that person lunged at him, and a struggle ensued. The officer was shot in the leg, and then shot back.
“During that altercation, a shot was fired striking our officer. Our officer fired his weapon, and at that time the suspect died,” said Deputy Chief Eshom.
Right after the shooting, the officer put a tourniquet on his leg, detained the driver of the car, and tried to help the passenger he shot.
Police found a 25-caliber handgun in the car. The shooting is still under investigation by the Albuquerque Metro Police Shooting Taskforce.
State Police Deputy Chief Eshom said this incident serves as a reminder that any seemingly nonchalant traffic stop, could be an officer’s last.
“Never knowing what each traffic stop will bring… this is definitely an eye-opener for all of us, and something none of us want to face in our careers but we know that the danger is there,” he said.
Police say the driver of the car is not facing any charges. State Police have yet to identify the officer involved or the passenger who was shot and killed.