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Suspect detained in New Mexico state police officer’s killing

Jaremy Smith was captured by Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office following a foot pursuit

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Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. — A suspect in the shooting death of a state police officer was captured Sunday by law enforcement officers in the Albuquerque area based on a tip from a gas station clerk, authorities said Sunday at a news conference.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office detained 33-year-old Jaremy Smith of Marion, South Carolina, in the southwestern reaches of Albuquerque after the clerk notified authorities of a man who fit Smith’s description, Sheriff John Allen said.

At a brief news conference Sunday morning, Allen said Smith was located walking on the outskirts of a residential area and was wounded by gunfire as officers pursued him on foot. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment under police guard. No medical condition was given.

“A foot pursuit ensued,” Allen said. “Shots were fired. Some shots strike Smith, we don’t know the amount right now or how many, that’s still under investigation. But Smith was then taken into custody without further incident.”

State Police Chief Troy Weisler said an investigation is in the preliminary stages about Smith’s movements since Friday’s fatal shooting of State Police Officer Justin Hare along Interstate 40 west of Tucumcari, but that the detention Sunday allows people an opportunity to grieve for Hare. Weisler and Allen did not discuss possible criminal charges and declined to provide further information.

Authorities said Hare was dispatched about 5 a.m. Friday to help a motorist in a white BMW with a flat tire on I-40.

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Officer Justin Hare


Hare parked behind the BMW, and a man got out, approached the patrol car on the passenger side, then shot the officer without warning. They said the motorist then walked to the driver’s side of the police vehicle, shot Hare again, and pushed him into the back seat before taking off in the patrol vehicle.

State Police later learned that the white BMW was reported missing in South Carolina and that it belonged to a woman who was killed there, paramedic Phonesia Machado-Fore.

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