A tragedy near the border has many furious over the details of how a lone police officer was put in a position that saw him executed on the roadside by a violent and hardened career criminal. An attorney for the officer’s family now says federal agents knew of the suspect’s past, and failed to tell the cop critical information that could have saved his life.
According to KRQE-TV, New Mexico State Police were contacted by the Department of Homeland Security requesting help with conducting a traffic stop on suspected drug dealer Omar Cueva.
NMSP Officer Darian Jarrott found Cueva’s truck on Interstate 10 near Deming, New Mexico, on Feb. 4.
Seen on dashcam footage and his body camera, Jarrott approached the passenger side of the vehicle and questioned Cueva on a few minor things before spotting his rifle. The officer politely asked him to surrender his firearm, and the suspect agreed.
Cueva then exited his truck and checked the firearm before both men headed toward the police cruiser. When they neared the back part of the truck, Cueva whipped his rifle up and fired on an unsuspecting Jarrott.
Cueva then circled around, executing Jarrott in cold blood before getting back in his truck and fleeing the scene. The fateful encounter played out in front of two cameras.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language and violence that some viewers will find offensive and disturbing.
The rampage didn’t stop there.
Authorities shortly caught up with Cueva, who led them on a high-speed chase down the interstate until an officer performed a PIT maneuver that put the fleeing truck in the ditch.
Before the truck came to a complete stop, however, Cueva’s door flew open as he apparently readied himself. The gunman charged from the wreck, immediately taking cover behind a cruiser’s engine block before shooting the officer who put him in the ditch.
Cueva then bolted back to his truck, his intention seemingly clear — escape by any means necessary, including killing anyone who got in the way.
Officers were able to get a few shots in as Cueva ran back, causing him to lose his footing and fall. As he apparently reached for his dropped rifle, he was killed in a hail of gunfire.
Cueva’s final stand was captured on traffic cameras, showing the ferocity of the gunman cops were facing.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic violence that some viewers will find disturbing.
According to KVIA-TV, New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton said Cuevas had a “violent criminal history that included drug trafficking and other felonies.”
Jarrott’s widow is now planning to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, KRQE reported.
“There’s no doubt this is a horrific, tragic incident with basically a monster who shot Officer Jarrott, but there are questions that need to be answered by State Police and Homeland Security agents,” Sam Bregman, an attorney hired by the slain officer’s family, said.
“He didn’t know how violent this person was but yet the federal agents did and they sent him in by himself in the middle of nowhere to do a traffic stop.”
The New Mexico State Police and Homeland Security will likely be named in the lawsuit, the report said.
“Where was the backup?” Bregman demanded to know. “This is a guy who they know had weapons on him, know he’s a criminal, violent person doing drug deals, with drugs on him, where’s the backup?”
“One of the interesting things you can see in the video after he is shot, within 30 seconds, [Homeland Security Investigations] agents about 1/4 mile behind him, run-up, they’re in full tactical gear,” he continued, according to KRQE. “They know how violent this person was, they never told Jarrott, never even gave him a heads up.”
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