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Hero Down: Santa Fe Senior Police Officer Robert Duran Killed In Crash While Chasing Armed Carjacker

Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Police Department (SFPD) Senior Police Officer Robert Duran died in the line of duty Wednesday after he was involved in a multi-vehicle crash while pursuing a kidnapping suspect.

The series of events leading to the 43-year-old officer’s death began at approximately 11:06 a.m. on March 2, when the SFPD received a report of an armed carjacking in progress at the Rancho Vizcaya Apartments, KOB reported.

Police were told a male with a knife stole a vehicle with a woman inside and drove off.

Officers spotted the stolen car within approximately 10 minutes and began chasing the driver near St. Francis Drive and Sawmill Road, KOB reported.

The suspect drove onto I-25 and started traveling northbound in the southbound lanes, according to police.

He made a U-turn between the Old Pecos Trail exit and the Eldorado exit and sped off into oncoming traffic in the northbound lanes, KOB reported.

A four-vehicle collision occurred near mile marker 285 involving the stolen vehicle, two SFPD units, and a civilian motorist, according to police.

Officer Duran and the civilian motorist were killed in the crash, KOB reported.

The motorist was later identified as 62-year-old retired Las Vegas Firefighter Frank Lovato.

The kidnapped victim and another SFPD officer were injured, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

The kidnapping victim was treated at a hospital and has since been released, KOB reported.

The suspect fled the scene and remained on the loose Wednesday.

Officer Duran, a U.S. Army veteran, served the SFPD for seven years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

He was assigned to the department’s Emergency Response Team and the Patrol Section.

“Officer Duran was well respected and loved by his peers,” the SFPD said in a press release. “We as a Department and as individuals are still grieving and processing his loss.”

Officer Duran leaves behind his wife and two teenaged sons.

“Our condolences are with the family of Robert Duran, and the family of the other driver, lost in today’s tragic crash,” the police department said. “We humbly ask everyone to please respect the family’s privacy at this time and allow them time to grieve.”

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber described Officer Duran as “one of Santa Fe’s finest,” and said he was “a devoted police officer who gave his life in the line of duty in service to his community,” according to KOB.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Santa Fe Police Department Senior Police Officer Robert Duran, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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