Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces man who died in car chase incident with official identified

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Las Cruces Police Department and the Dona Ana County Task Force identified the man involved in the officer incident that resulted in the suspect’s death on Saturday, LCPD officials said in a press release with.

The LCPD and Dona Ana County Officer-Involved Task Force are investigating the death of Gustavo A. Esparza, 35, who is suspected of shooting LCPD officers during a traffic stop on Saturday night.

Investigators learned that Esparza was wanted with a federal parole warrant from the Los Angeles office for gun possession, said Frank Torres, LCPD detective.

Investigators also learned that Esparza had numerous arrests in California, including burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, felons in possession of a firearm, theft of automobiles, resistance to an officer and controlled substance violations.

A civilian wounded in the incident was taken to El Paso University Hospital for gunshot wound treatment and is being held in stable condition.

****** Original story:

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Las Cruces police are investigating the death of a man suspected of sacking at least one round of police officers during a traffic stop, according to an LCPD press release.

An LCPD official initiated a traffic control on a vehicle near the intersection of 5th Street and Wilson Avenues Saturday, LCPD detective Frank Torres said.

“Preliminary investigations have shown that the vehicle came to an abrupt halt during the traffic control and the driver, a male, immediately opened fire and shot at least one lap at the officers of the two-man police unit,” said Torres.

According to the LCPD notice, both officers returned fire on the person in front of the person, resulting in a car chase that ended near 4th Street and Davis Avenue.

Torres said the subject failed to comply with the officers’ orders to surrender, so the New Mexico State Police SWAT team arrived.

The New Mexico State Police SWAT team arrived and the Las Cruces Police hostage negotiation team also responded to communicate with the subject to obtain consent and peaceful surrender to the authorities. The subject did not follow the handover orders and after staying in his vehicle for more than two hours, he no longer communicated with the authorities.

“A chemical agent was placed on the suspect vehicle to gain subject approval and surrender,” said Torres.

The driver got out of his vehicle and reached back to his vehicle. Officials responded by firing multiple shots and hitting the subject, Torres said in the press release.

The victim was given medical attention to treat his injuries but was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the notification, there was a handgun in the area where the subject had reached into his vehicle.

A civilian injured in the incident was taken to El Paso University Hospital for treatment for a gunshot wound. The civilian was in stable condition, said Torres.

An interagency task force consisting of the LCPD, the New Mexico State Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico State University Police are investigating the incident.

The suspect’s name was not disclosed.

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