ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Officials have released details of the tragic and violent murder of New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott. The fatal shooting in February exemplifies the dangers police face every time they don the uniform.

On February 4, Officer Jarrott conducted a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet pickup truck on Interstate 10 eastbound, near mile marker 102 just east of Deming, New Mexico. Operating the vehicle was 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva.  

Officer Jarrott stopped the vehicle because its tinting was too dark, according to authorities. The officer was assisting members of the United States Homeland Security Investigations when he stopped the vehicle.

If you wear a badge and haven’t watched the video of NMSP Officer Darian Jarrott’s death, you need to. There are lessons to be learned, and it’s a reminder of the risks.

EOW, 02/04/2021. pic.twitter.com/Iyp9Cenc52

— Rusty Shackleford (@SamuelColt1776) April 11, 2021

Cueva was the subject of an ongoing narcotics investigation and was en route to Las Cruces to participate in a drug deal at the time of the stop.

Video captured the events of the traffic stop, both from a dash camera the officer’s label camera.  

Officer with 3 kids, one on the way, murdered for nothing

— WeaponOutfitters.com (@WeaponOutfitter) April 11, 2021

Jarrott walked up to the passenger side of the truck and asked Cueva to exit the vehicle. He asked Cueva to bring his license, registration, and insurance cards. Officer Jarrott noticed a rifle inside the truck and asked Cueva to give him the rifle for his own safety once he gets out of the truck.

Video shows the two men begin to walk to the rear of the truck on opposite sides of the vehicle. Cueva can be seen holding an AR-15 style rifle in one hand and some type of walkie-talkie or police scanner in the other.

NMSP releases video on what led up to fatal shooting of Officer Darian Jarrott https://t.co/GLWI2h0jpM

— KRQE News 13 (@krqe) April 10, 2021

As they reach the end of the truck’s cab, Cueva raises the rifle and opens fire, shooting the unsuspecting officer at least once. Officer Jarrott ducked behind the truck and fell on his back, reaching for his gun.

Cueva moves around the truck and shoots Officer Jarrott several more times. Cueva then walks up to the helpless officer and fires one more round into the back of his head.

After killing the young officer, Cueva jumped in the truck and fled down the highway.

Dashcam Footage From Fatal Shooting of Officer Darian Jarrott. Luna County, New Mexico — On February 4, 2021, New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott initiated a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet pickup on Interstate 10 eastbound, near mile marker 102 east of Deming, New.. pic.twitter.com/yMTLo85Abi

— tikleak (@tikleak) April 10, 2021

Two Homeland Security agents arrived on the scene and notified New Mexico dispatch that an officer was down. One agent can be heard on the video saying, “he’s dead.”

As Cueva fled eastbound on I-10, he engaged in gunfire exchanges with New Mexico State Police and local police. Las Cruces Officer Adrian De La Garza was able to end the pursuit with a Pursuit Intervention Technique maneuver near mile marker 140.

Cueva exited the truck armed with a firearm and fired multiple rounds at officers. Officers returned fire, striking Cueva multiple times.

Darian Jarrott biography: 13 things about New Mexico cop Omar Felix Cueva shot https://t.co/yEt79T1xT0

— CONAN Daily (@conan_daily) April 11, 2021

Officer De La Garza was struck by gunfire and airlifted to a trauma center where he was treated and released.

Cueva was pronounced dead at the scene.

New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton said:

“We appreciate the public’s support during this difficult time. We will honor Officer Jarrott’s sacrifice by continuing to serve and protect the citizens of New Mexico.”

Police dashcam shows fatal shooting of Officer Darian Jarrott https://t.co/uoDR12q4Qm via @MailOnline

— Mark De Brizzi: CPTSD, Christian, Pray-er! (@de_brizzi) April 11, 2021

Officer Jarrott, 28,  served with the New Mexico State Police for five and a half years. He is survived by his wife and three children. His wife was expecting a fourth child at the time of the shooting.

The young officer was laid to rest on Friday, February 12 at Shakespeare Cemetery in Lordsburg during a private burial.

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Police open fire on suspect who tried to escape traffic stop – while dragging the responding officer with his car

March 26, 2021

LAS CRUCES, NM – Body camera video released Thursday shows the harrowing moment a Las Cruces police officer was dragged by a fleeing vehicle, prompting his backup to open fire. The incident ended with the driver behind bars and his passenger with a gunshot wound.

The incident began February 3 when police stopped a Chevy Tahoe being driven by Joel Orozco for speeding and driving erratically. The initial officer radioed for backup after observing a knife inside the vehicle.

The officer ran a check on the driver’s license and discovered he had a felony warrant for his arrest. Officer J. Herrera and assisting officer M. Carrera returned to the truck and asked Orozco to turn off the vehicle and step out.

The Las Cruces Police Department released body camera video capturing an officer-involved shooting in February.https://t.co/zf3hosdUFQ

— KTSM 9 News (@KTSMtv) March 20, 2021

Orozco refused to exit the vehicle and began to drive away. Officer Herrera opened the driver’s side door and grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to stop the vehicle, which resulted in him being dragged across the road by Orozco’s vehicle.

The Body camera video was obscured by the officer being dragged, but multiple shots could be heard being fired. Another view from Officer Carrera’s body camera showed him open fire on the Chevy as it dragged his partner.

OFFICER DRAGGED: A police officer in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is dragged as man flees a traffic stop … the incident is caught on bodycam video https://t.co/iZBcqlanmu #8NN

— 8 News NOW (@8NewsNow) March 19, 2021

Officer Herrera could be seen being dragged across the road and a raised curb before falling to the ground. The Chevy driven by Orozco continued fleeing as Officer Carrera ran to check on Officer Herrera.

Police report that Orozco abandoned the vehicle nearby and was arrested a short time later. A female passenger in the vehicle suffered a gunshot wound and was treated at a local hospital. Her identity has not been released.

Officer Herrera suffered a fractured leg and is recovering from his injuries.

Orozco has been charged with aggravated battery on an officer and fleeing.

Las Cruses was the scene of another dramatic video of an officer-involved shooting on February 4 when authorities engaged in a shootout with a man suspected of killing a New Mexico State Police officer.

New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott, assisting Homeland Security Investigations, pulled over a white Chevrolet pickup truck being driven by Omar Felix Cueva near milepost 101 on Interstate 10 east of Deming. During the traffic stop, Cueva opened fire and killed Jarrot, said State Police Chief Robert Thornton.

New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott, 28, was shot and killed last week after a suspect opened fire during a traffic stop. Jarrott was a father of three with another baby on the way. REST IN PEACE 🙏 https://t.co/8zu2lyOJgC pic.twitter.com/hQ0IUbKH0b

— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) February 10, 2021

Thornton said area police were notified of the suspect’s vehicle, and Cueva was pulled over again near mile post 116 on I-10 by Las Cruces police. Following an exchange of gunfire between Cueva and police, the pursuit continued along I-10.

At mile post 135, as Cueva neared Las Cruces, police were able to deflate the tires of the pickup, Thornton said. Then, near mile post 140 — just before the Avenida de Mesilla exit — a Las Cruces Police officer performed a pursuit intervention technique, or PIT maneuver, on Cueva’s pickup and both vehicles came to a stop.

Part of the incident was caught on video by Austin Contreras, who was working on a gate at Trail West near I-10 when he heard the pursuit approaching.

Contreras said:

“It was shocking, I mean, nobody expected it to end in a gunfight.”

Cueva and officers from several agencies exited their vehicles. Following another exchange of gunfire, Cueva was struck and killed. One Las Cruces officer was also shot. The officer was transported to El Paso Hospital where he was treated and released. 

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