Off-duty cop ambushed while performing welfare check by suspect who stole his car, committed suicide

LAS CRUCES, NM – Shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, an off-duty LCPD Officer was driving northbound on I25 when he witnessed a single-car crash. When the officer attempted to conduct a welfare check on this vehicle, the male driver exited the vehicle and threatened the officer with a large kitchen knife.

The male subject then ran to the officer’s personal vehicle and fled northbound on I25. The officer’s equipment was in the trunk of his vehicle which included his vest and duty belt.

This encounter was recorded by a 911 call made by the officer. During this call, the officer was able to relay not only his vehicle information but also informed dispatch of the equipment that was in the trunk.

Officers made contact with the vehicle near the intersection of Amador Ave. and Solano Dr. As officers were relaying the direction of travel of the suspect, the vehicle drove off the roadway near S. Esperanza St. and Amador Ave., crashing into the fence of and exterior of the Mesilla Valley Leadership Academy.

Due to the circumstances, SWAT and Negotiators were requested. Ultimately, the subject was unresponsive. Contact was made with the subject and life-saving measures were initiated.

Through the investigation, it was learned that the subject suffered one single, self-inflicted gunshot wound; and ultimately succumbed to his injury.

Law enforcement officers did not discharge their duty weapons. There were no other reported injuries related to this incident.

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