Suspect in fatal shooting of New Mexico police officer detained, authorities say

Authorities Detain Suspect in Fatal Shooting of New Mexico Police Officer

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a significant development occurred following the tragic death of a state police officer. Law enforcement officers, acting on a tip from a gas station clerk, successfully apprehended a suspect in the Albuquerque area on Sunday.

The individual in question, 33-year-old Jaremy Smith from Marion, South Carolina, was detained in the southwestern parts of Albuquerque. This arrest was made possible thanks to the alertness of a gas station clerk who recognized Smith and promptly informed the authorities, as shared by Sheriff John Allen during a press conference.

Smith had been identified by South Carolina officials as a person of interest in another grim case—the murder of a local paramedic. This connection emerged after it was discovered that the paramedic’s stolen vehicle was used in the fatal shooting of New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare. The tragic incident took place along Interstate 40, west of Tucumcari.

Sheriff Allen revealed that Smith was found walking on the edge of a residential area. During a foot chase, Smith was wounded by gunfire. He was subsequently taken to a local hospital for medical treatment, under the watchful eye of the police. The specifics of his medical condition were not disclosed.

Allen elaborated on the pursuit, noting that shots were fired, some of which hit Smith. The exact number of shots and further details are still under investigation. However, Smith was eventually taken into custody without any further incidents.

State Police Chief Troy Weisler mentioned that the investigation into Smith’s activities since Officer Hare’s death is still in its initial stages. Nonetheless, Smith’s detention on Sunday marks a crucial step, allowing the community and Officer Hare’s loved ones to start the grieving process. Weisler and Allen refrained from discussing potential criminal charges and chose not to divulge more information at this time.

The circumstances leading to Officer Hare’s death began early Friday morning when he was dispatched to assist a motorist with a flat tire. Upon parking behind the motorist’s white BMW, an individual approached Hare’s patrol car, shooting the officer without warning. The assailant then shot Hare again, placed him in the back seat of the patrol car, and fled the scene in the police vehicle.

Further investigation revealed that the white BMW was reported missing in South Carolina. It belonged to Phonesia Machado-Fore, 52, a Marion County paramedic who was found deceased last week. Her family had reported her missing the evening before her body was discovered.

Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace expressed immense relief upon learning of Smith’s detention. He conveyed his gratitude on behalf of the Marion County community, acknowledging the sense of relief that Smith’s capture brings.

At this time, it remains unclear if Smith has obtained legal representation, as attempts to reach the public defenders’ office in New Mexico were unsuccessful.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham publicly thanked the individual who spotted Smith and alerted the authorities. She recognized the suspect’s detention as a significant stride towards achieving justice for Officer Hare and his family.