Several roads north of Las Cruces that were temporarily closed to through traffic are now open. The area near North Valley Drive and Lopez Road near East Picacho Elementary had been secured after a Dona Ana County Sheriff’s deputy was involved in a shooting at 3:30 a.m. Friday. Law enforcement agencies that were working to process evidence in the investigation have cleared out and traffic has returned to normal.
Preliminary information indicated a Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a vehicle stopped at the intersection of North Valley and Westwind Road. The deputy stopped to ask the driver if he needed assistance.
As the deputy approached the vehicle, the suspect reportedly exited the vehicle with a firearm and pointed it at the deputy.
The deputy, a 7-year veteran of the department, fired at and struck the suspect, who then fled the area on foot. The deputy was not injured.
The suspect was taken into custody a short time later, approximately one-half mile from scene of the shooting. The suspect was given first aid and was subsequently airlifted to University Medical Center in El Paso with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
The deputy was uninjured and has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for a deputy-involved shooting. The suspect is still at UMC and has not yet been positively identified.
There are two concurrent investigations underway; an internal investigation will be conducted by the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Professional Standards Division and a criminal investigation will be conducted by the Officer Involved Incident Task Force (OIITF).
The OIITF is multi-agency task force comprised of specially-trained investigators from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the Las Cruces Police Department, New Mexico State University Police Department, New Mexico State Police and the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office.