Warning: The following story contains graphic video that may disturb some viewers.
In February, Law Officer reported that a New Mexico State Police officer was tragically shot and killed during a traffic stop. The gunman also died in a shootout with police following a 40-mile chase. Later the New Mexico State Police released graphic footage.
Officer Darrian Jarrott’s squad car dashcam video shows the state cop approaching a Chevy pickup truck on Interstate-10 on Feb. 4 and interviewing the driver, who was pulled over for having too dark tinted windows.
According to new reports, the conversation started peacefully; the driver identified himself as Omar Felix Cueva and admitted he has a firearm in his car.
“You mind if I take it off you for my safety,” Jarrott was heard asking the driver.
As Officer Jarrott ordered Cueva to get out of the vehicle through the passenger window, Cueva exited the truck with an AR-15-style rifle and fired a shot at Jarrott.
Jarrott fell to the ground, and Cueva continued firing into Jarrott, including one at point-blank range to the back of the head. A Homeland Security Investigations agent arrived on the scene less than a minute after Cueva fled and informed dispatch that Jarrott was down.
Cueva, 39, sped away from the scene, leaving Jarrott by the side of the road, and led New Mexico cops on a 40-mile high-speed chase before being killed in a shootout.The chase ended after police were able to stop Cueva by blowing out his tires with tire deflation devices.
According to police, Cueva had a “violent criminal history,” including narcotics charges with cocaine and methamphetamine. He was on his way to a drug deal when he was stopped by Jarrott, a five-year veteran of the military, according to KVIA-TV.
Bullets also hit Officer Adrian De La Garza of the Las Cruces Police Department. He was airlifted to a Texas trauma center, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Officer Darian Jarrott, was the father of three small children and was expecting a fourth one this year. He was sworn in as a New Mexico State Police officer in July 2015. Before that, he worked for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety as a Transportation Inspector.
Jarrott’s hometown of Lordsburg in New Mexico’s southwest corner was stunned at his killing, and friends consistently remembered him as a loving and protective family man.
Residents and friends began sharing tributes on their personal Facebook pages.
“My heart hurts for him and his family,” Ty Hendrix, a longtime friend of both Jarrott and his girlfriend, said.
On Twitter, state Rep. Candie Sweetser, a Democrat representing Hidalgo, Luna and part of Grant County, wrote: “There are no words for how heartbreaking it is to lose an officer in the line of duty — especially an officer from such a close community as Lordsburg.”
New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton shared: “Even when there was a situation that was tough, the guy was always smiling,” Thornton said, adding: “The guy never had a bad day.”
Warning: The following video contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some viewers.