New Mexico officer dies after shooting at traffic stop; 3 arrested

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HATCH, New Mexico - A man charged with "willful and deliberate first-degree murder" of a police officer in New Mexico is also wanted for murder in Ohio, authorities said.

Jesse Hanes and two other suspects were arrested in the shooting death of of Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez during a traffic stop Friday, said Kelly Jameson, spokeswoman for the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office.

Hanes, 38, is also wanted on a murder charge in Ohio, his last known address, Jameson said.

Chavez, 33, was killed after he pulled over a vehicle in Hatch on Friday, according to the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office.

"Another Hatch officer had just arrived at the traffic stop to assist the first officer when a passenger from the vehicle exited and fired shots," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The other Hatch officer returned fire at the gunman's car, a silver Lexus, which fled the scene. A third responding officer gave chase to the Lexus while the second officer called for paramedics and assisted Chavez, the statement said.

Chavez was rushed to a hospital, where he died following surgery.

Suspects flee scene

The suspects fled the scene and traveled south on Interstate 25, at times exceeding speeds of 100 mph, according to authorities. The assisting officer tried to pursue them without success.

About 25 minutes after the initial traffic stop, the suspects exited at a rest stop, where one carjacked a red Chevrolet Cruze, authorities said. Its owner was shot during the carjacking, and was transported to the hospital, the sheriff's department said.

Sheriff's deputies saw the Cruze and pursued the car, deploying a tire-deflating device that successfully flattened its tires.

Deputies surrounded the Cruze while the driver briefly barricaded himself inside. He then exited the vehicle and was observed to have suffered a gunshot wound to the upper right thigh.

Hanes is currently hospitalized, Jameson said.

Chavez was a two-year veteran of the Hatch Police Department.

The Chillicothe Gazette reported that Hanes is wanted in the death of 62-year-old Theodore Timmons, who was found shot multiple times in his Londonderry, Ohio, home on July 25. The newspaper said another man, James D. Nelson II, is also wanted in Timmons' death and was also arrested with Hanes in New Mexico.

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