Albuquerque, NM – A New Mexico State Police officer saved his own life by applying a tourniquet to his leg after he was shot early Sunday morning.
The incident occurred at about 2 a.m. on July 15 after the officer stopped a blue Honda sedan for speeding on Interstate 25 southbound near Avenida Cesar Chavez in Albuquerque, the Grant County Beat reported.
New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Elizabeth Armijo said the officer determined that the paperwork the driver had given him to go with the vehicle was different than the license plate, so he asked the driver to get out of the car.
The officer spoke to the driver near his patrol car, and then returned to the Honda to talk to the passenger.
That’s when the passenger lunged at the officer, and a fight ensued, according to the Grant County Beat.
New Mexico State Police Deputy Chief Robert Eshom said that the officer was shot in the left leg during his struggle with the suspect, and that the officer then discharged his own weapon and fatally shot the suspect, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
At that point, the wounded officer returned to his vehicle where he got out a tourniquet, and applied it to his injured leg.
Once he had done that, he detained the driver and then attempted to render aid to the suspect until backup arrived, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The officer was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition and later released.
Chief Eshom said the suspect died at the scene.
Officers found a .25 caliber handgun in the Honda, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
“It is a stark reminder of the dangers officers face when they put on their uniforms – never knowing what each traffic stop will bring,” Chief Eshom said during a press conference. “This is definitely an eye-opener for all of us, and it’s something none of us want to face in our careers, but we know the danger is there. Our officers diligently go out and perform their duties relentlessly and without hesitation.”
The Albuquerque Metro Police Shooting Taskforce, which included the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau, the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rio Rancho Police Department, was investigating the officer-involved shooting.