N.M. deputy honored for saving fellow officers, taking down cop killer

Diego Herrera said he was committed to doing "whatever it took" to apprehend the dangerous suspect


By Sarah Sinning

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A deputy with the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office was honored over the weekend for his heroic actions on the job, KOB 4 reports.

Deputy Diego Herrera was one of the responding officers last year after a suspect shot and killed New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott and then led officers on a high-speed pursuit. After another officer used a PIT maneuver to bring the suspect's vehicle to a stop, Herrera was one of three officers who approached as the gunman once again opened fire, wounding Las Cruces Police Officer Adrian De La Garza.

[MORE: 'He was always smiling:' Chief remembers NM State Police officer killed in shootout]

Herrera and the other officers returned fire, striking the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

In front of thousands of spectators at Saturday's Professional Bull Rider's Invitational in Albuquerque, Deputy Herrera was recognized for his selfless actions. "Because of his bravery and his duty on that day," the event's announcer said as he was awarded an honorary plaque, "he was able to save his fellow police officers."

Even though Herrera thought he was going to die that day, he said he was committed to doing "whatever it took" to apprehend the dangerous suspect. He also noted that he doesn't do the job for the recognition, though "the support is great," he said.

"We're ready for it, but we're not ready for the aftermath, especially the mental aspect of it. It's pretty hard," said Herrera. "It was something that's definitely going to stay with me for the rest of my life now."

 

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