New information released in shooting death of NM State Police Officer

New information released in shooting death of NM State Police Officer
Officer Darian Jarrott (Source: NM State Police)

LUNA COUNTY, N.M. (KFDA) - New Mexico police have released new information in the shooting death of a state police officer that occurred in February.

On February 4, officer Darian Jarrott initiated a traffic stop on a white pickup eastbound on Interstate 10 just east of Deming.

Officer Jarrott asked the driver, identified as 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva, to exit the vehicle.

Cueva exited the driver’s side holding an AR-15-style rifle and fired at officer Jarrott as he was walking to the rear of the vehicle.

Officer Jarrott fell onto his back and Cueva ran around the vehicle before firing several more rounds.

State officials said Jarrott was struck by gunfire and shot point-blank in the back of the head.

Jarrott died on scene.

A broadcast was put out to state and local law enforcement agencies on the incident before state police officers located Cueva traveling east on Interstate 10.

Cueva pulled over and fired at the officers before he reentered his vehicle and continued to travel east on Interstate 10.

Las Cruces PD, Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Border Patrol assisted state police with the pursuit.

Officers deployed tire deflation devices on the pickup near the Picacho exit on Interstate 10. Cueva still continued east as law enforcement officers engaged in gunfire as he fled.

Cueva was eventually stopped after an officer used a PIT maneuver, a tactic where a pursuing vehicle can force a suspect vehicle to make an abrupt sideways turn.

Officials said Cueva exited the pickup with a firearm and shot multiple rounds at officers and deputies.

Deputies fired towards Cueva and he was struck multiple times.

LCPD Officer Adrian De La Garza was struck by gunfire and airlifted to a trauma hospital in Texas where he was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.

Cueva was pronounced dead on scene.

Officials said officer Jarrott began his career as a Transportation Inspector with NMDPS. He was certified as a law enforcement officer in December of 2014.

In July of 2015, Jarrott was sworn in as a state police officer where he served until the day of the shooting.

Officer Jarrott leaves behind three small children and was expecting a fourth child this year.

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

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