NEW MEXICO — Police in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, are searching for a man who shot and killed an on-duty officer Monday night.
Chief Michael Geier said the man fled the scene in a Dodge pickup. Authorities are questioning a person in connection with the shooting.
A witness, Elijah Ortiz y Pino, said he heard four gunshots and then came around a corner to see someone giving CPR to an officer.
“I didn’t see nobody running, no cars trying to get out of here real quick,” Ortiz y Pino told CNN affiliate KOAT-TV in Albuquerque. “I didn’t see anything like that.”
The officer is the first in the department’s history to be shot and killed in the line of duty, Geier said. Two others have died in traffic accidents.
He was a four-year veteran of the force and also served in the Air Force.
Rio Rancho police Capt. Paul Rogers said the officer’s colleagues will miss him.
“He was well-liked by everybody on the department and of course, losing him is going to have a great impact with the officers on the department, the civilian employees in the department,” he said, according to KOAT. “I’m sure once we’re able to identify him, the community will feel the loss as well.”
Rio Rancho is just north of Albuquerque.