New Mexico State Police investigating officer-involved shooting in Tatum

New Mexico State Police (Source: Facebook)
New Mexico State Police (Source: Facebook)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 11:05 AM CDT
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Tatum, NEW MEXICO (KCBD) - New Mexico State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting near Tatum on Monday afternoon.

Around 4:30 p.m., Roswell police were called to an armed robbery and carjacking at an Allsup’s gas station. When officers arrived on scene the victim told police the suspect, 27-year-old Joel Contreras, pointed a gun at him and stole his pickup, according to NMSP.

Officers were able to track down the victim’s pickup near Peach and Orchard Street where a deputy attempted a traffic stop when a pursuit followed. Contreras came to a stop for a moment, but then sped off, and the pursuit continued through the city of Roswell and east onto U.S. Highway 380.

Just after 5 p.m., New Mexico State Police and the Lea County Sheriff’s Office were called to assist. As Contreras continued to flee east on U.S. Highway 380, a LCSO deputy deployed tire deflation device near milepost 218 to bring the vehicle to a safe stop. After Contreras drove over the tire deflating device, he continued to travel east on U.S. Highway 380.

Investigators say when Contreras approached two NMSP officers, one of the officers discharged his firearm toward the vehicle at least once, striking it. Contreras continued traveling east on U.S. Highway 380. The pursuit came to an end after Contreras crashed and rolled the pickup onto its side near East Broadway and South Cobern Ave.

After the crash, Contreras was taken into custody by Roswell police. Officials say a 23-year-old female was also in the vehicle during the pursuit.

No officers were injured during the incident.

Contreras was booked into the Chaves County Detention Center after being treated and released at an area hospital. The female passenger was detained and later released.

The New Mexico State Police supervisor has been placed on standard administrative leave.

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