A drug dealer who executed a police officer in broad daylight during a traffic stop has been pursued and killed.
The disturbing video of the sad encounter has been released by New Mexico State public safety officials. The video of the patrol car dashcam showed a violent February encounter during a traffic stop that claimed the life of a New Mexico State Police officer. The officer then says, ‘Let’s go to my vehicle OK’, at which point Cueva gets out from the driver’s seat holding the rifle – which Jarrott is unable to see because his view is blocked by the pick-up.
As both men slowly walk towards his patrol car, Cueva suddenly brings out the rifle, with Jarrott shouting ‘oh s***’ before being shot. Jarrott, 28, fell to the ground, with Cueva walking over to him to shot him several more times, including once point-blank in the head before he took off in his truck. Less than a minute after Cueva fled, a Homeland Security Investigations agent arrived on the scene and reportedly notified dispatch that Jarrott was down.
A 40-mile chase ensued, during which Cueva exchanged fire with officers from New Mexico State Police, the Cruces Police Department, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, and US Border Patrol. Tire deflation devices and other maneuvers were eventually used to force the fleeing vehicle off the highway, and there was a final exchange of gunfire in which Cueva was killed and surrounded by armed troopers aiming their weapons at him.
Las Cruces police officer Adrian De La Garza was wounded in the final shootout and was flown to the hospital by helicopter but his injuries were not life-threatening. NMSP Chief Robert Thornton fought back tears at a press conference as he mourned officer Jarrott who he called ‘our fallen hero.’Jarrott had been on the force since 2015 after working as a Transportation Inspector for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. The chief said Cueva was a man with a ‘violent criminal history that included drug trafficking and other felonies.’ He was first arrested at age 13 for vandalism, then for drug trafficking at 21, and possession with intent to distribute crystal meth at age 29. Democrat New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered flags across the state to fly at half-mast following the tragedy in February.
‘I am shocked, heartbroken and enraged by the loss of this public servant. I am praying for the local officer who was also shot and injured,’ the governor said in a statement. ‘I am horrified as we grieve another life cut down, another family crushed by senseless violence in our state.
‘Violent crime is a scourge on New Mexico, and the men and women who step up and put on the badge to protect our communities fight it with everything they’ve got every day.’