Alamogordo, NM – Alamogordo Police Department (APD) Officer Anthony Ferguson died in the line of duty on Sunday after being shot by a suspect during a foot chase one day earlier.
The incident began at approximately 2:18 a.m. on July 15, when APD officers attempted to pull a vehicle over in the area of Ninth Street and Puerto Rico Avenue, the APD said in a press release the following day.
The vehicle was allegedly traveling without any headlights or taillights activated, the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) said in a separate news release.
Police said the driver refused to pull over and attempted to flee.
The officers did not pursue the suspect, the APD noted.
A short while after the failed traffic stop, the suspect vehicle was involved in a traffic collision in the area of Delaware Avenue and First Street.
Police said they spotted the driver running away from the crash and began chasing him.
The suspect allegedly opened fire on the pursuing officers using a sawed-off shotgun, according to the NMSP.
At least one of the rounds hit Officer Ferguson in the face, police confirmed.
Another officer shot the suspect in the leg during an exchange of gunfire, according to the NMSP.
The gunman was later identified by police as 26-year-old Dominic De La O.
De La O, who was also shot by law enforcement after he allegedly pulled a gun on officer back in January, was taken into custody after the shootout.
He was booked into the Otero County Jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a police officer with a deadly weapon, aggravated fleeing of a police officer, tampering with evidence, resisting and evading a police officer, criminal trespass, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, lights required on vehicle, and reckless driving, according to the NMSP.
Officer Ferguson was rushed to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center before he was airlifted to the University Medical Center of El Paso.
The 41-year-old hero succumbed to his wounds on Sunday, the APD confirmed.
The NMSP are handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal shootout.
A motive was not immediately released.
The APD announced Officer Ferguson’s death on Sunday.
“It is with profound sadness that the Alamogordo Police Department announces the passing of Officer Anthony Ferguson who was shot in the line of duty on July 15th, 2023,” the department said.
Officer Ferguson served the APD for 11 years and was working as a field training officer at the time of his murder.
He leaves behind his daughter and his son.
Officer Ferguson is also survived by his parents and four brothers.
“He was loved and admired by the citizens of Alamogordo and Officers alike,” the APD said. “We would ask for the family’s privacy to be respected at this time.”
RIP Officer Ferguson ALAMOGORDO NM
We love and respect you it is an honor to have called you friend, brother in blue. End of Watch 7 16 23#RIP #ENDOFWATCH#GODBLESSLAWENFORCEMENT pic.twitter.com/nivuWmujMj
— Casey 0822 (@0822Casey) July 17, 2023
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Alamogordo Police Department Officer Anthony Ferguson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Anthony Ferguson, your life mattered.