Las Cruces, NM – Bodycam footage captured the moment when a Las Cruces police officer risked his life to stop the fleeing felon who had just gunned down New Mexico State Police (NMSP) Officer Darian Jarrott during a traffic stop (video below).
According to a tort notice sent to the state earlier this month by an attorney for Officer Jarrott’s widow, Gabriella Jarrott, the HSI failed to provide her husband with the information they had on 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva when they asked him to pull him over that day, KFOX reported.
“Homeland Security agents asked Officer Jarrott to pull over a car, when they knew the occupant of the vehicle was a known violent felon with semi-automatic weapons and large amount of drugs inside the vehicle,” Jarrott’s attorney, Sam Bregman, alleged in the notice. “They did so without telling Officer Jarrott of any of this.”
Officer Jarrott, 28, initiated a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet pickup truck near mile marker 101 on Interstate 10 eastbound, according to police.
After chatting with Cueva about his registration and insurance for a moment, the officer asked the driver to come back to his patrol vehicle with him so he could run his information, previously-released dashcam and bodycam footage showed.
“Hey real quick – you have a firearm on you?” Officer Jarrott asked Cueva as the suspect opened the driver’s side door. “You mind if I take it off you for my safety?”
Cueva seemed to agree and exited his pickup with a rifle in his hands, the video showed.
He then immediately turned and opened fire on Officer Jarrott over the bed of the pickup truck.
“Oh s—t!” the officer said, raising his hands to his head.
Cueva fired approximately 10 rounds at Officer Jarrott, hitting him repeatedly.
When the officer fell to the ground, the shooter fired one more round into the back of his head at point-blank range, FOX News reported.
Cueva then jumped back into his pickup and sped off, leaving Officer Jarrott in the ditch on the side of the interstate, the video showed.
A moment later, an HSI agent pulled up and found the murdered officer, the NMSP said in the press release.
After other NMSP officers spotted Cueva’s vehicle near mile marker 116, the suspect pulled over and opened fire on them, according to the press release.
The officers returned fire just before the suspect led them on a pursuit down Interstate 10.
As the chase closed in on mile marker 135 near Las Cruces, NMSP successfully used tire-deflating devices on Cueva’s vehicle.
The gunman continued his attempted escape as law enforcement officers from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), the U.S. Border Patrol, (USBP), and the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) joined the pursuit, police said.
As the fleeing pickup approached mile marker 140, Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) Officer Adrian De La Garza stopped the driver using a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver.
Officer De La Garza’s recently-released bodycam footage captured the PIT maneuver and the immediate gun battle that followed.
Cueva came barreling out of the truck while shooting at the swarm of law enforcement officers in the vicinity, hitting Officer De La Garza in the arm, KFOX reported.
Bystander cell phone footage showed the gunman as he ran up to the front of Officer De La Garza’s patrol car with a gun pointed at the vehicle.
The officer fell backwards onto the pavement beside his patrol car and yelled out in pain before immediately scrambling to his feet and continuing to return fire, the bodycam video showed.
He then ran up on the suspect and fired multiple more rounds before reloading.
Cueva, who was wearing a ballistic vest, died from his wounds at the scene.
Officer De La Garza backed away from the fallen suspect as additional officers moved in.
“I’ve been shot,” he told a fellow officer a moment later.
Police rushed to him and helped him secure his duty weapon while they frantically rendered emergency aid, the video showed.
Officer De La Garza was airlifted to a trauma hospital.
He has since been released and is continuing to recover from his gunshot wound, KFOX reported.
Officer De La Garza has been helping support Officer Jarrott’s family in the wake of his murder by donating to fundraisers and delivering baby supplies to his widow, who is pregnant with the slain officer’s fourth child, KTSM reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: