KRQE News 13 Albuquerque – Santa Fe

NMSP Ofc. Darian Jarrotts’ widow plans to file wrongful death lawsuit

Correction issued below

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The widow of a New Mexico State Police officer killed in the line of duty in February plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Her attorney argues that while being a police officer always presents a risk, Officer Darian Jarrott should have been warned who he was dealing with that day and his agency and Homeland Security failed him.


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Officers stopped the man who had just murdered NMSP Officer Jarrott in a hail of gunfire after a 40-mile chase near Deming to Las Cruces. “They didn’t give Officer Jarrott a fighting chance before he walked into this ambush,” said attorney Sam Bregman. Jarrott’s family believes a lot could have been done that day to prevent his death. NMSP says Homeland Security had requested help making a traffic stop that day of Omar Cueva. Officer Jarrott caught up with him near Deming. Lapel video shows Jarrott questioning Cueva for several minutes before he notices a gun in his truck.

Officer Jarrott then asks Cueva if he could take the gun for his safety but seconds later, Cueva ended up shooting Officer Jarrott 11 times. “There’s no doubt this is a horrific, tragic incident with basically a monster who shot Officer Jarrott but there are questions that need to be answered by State Police and Homeland Security agents. He didn’t know how violent this person was but yet the federal agents did and they sent him in by himself in the middle of nowhere to do a traffic stop,” said Bregman.

Bregman has been hired by Jarrott’s family. He plans to name NMSP and Homeland Security in the lawsuit saying the agencies failed Jarrott that day. “Where was the backup? This is a guy who they know had weapons on him, know he’s a criminal, violent person doing drug deals, with drugs on him, where’s the backup?” Bregman said.

Bregman says given Cueva’s history, this should have been a felony stop with a lot of officers around. “One of the interesting things you can see in the video after he is shot, within 30 seconds, HSI agents about 1/4 mile behind him, run-up, they’re in full tactical gear. They know how violent this person was, they never told Jarrott, never even gave him a heads up. We want to hold them responsible, so God forbid, it doesn’t happen to another State Police officer,” Bregman said.

KRQE News 13 reached out to NMSP which said they can’t comment on pending litigation. Homeland Security said they’ll send a statement. Officer Jarrott left behind a wife, three small children and was expecting his fourth child this year.


Correction: In an earlier version of this story, it was said that the shooting/chase started in Lordsburg, which is incorrect, the shooting happened near Deming.