Manhunt Underway After State Officer Fatally Shot

( – New Mexico authorities recently conducted a statewide manhunt for Jaremy Smith, a man accused of various felonies, including the murder of a New Mexico state trooper. The incident prompting the hunt for Smith occurred along an interstate side road, where the state trooper, Justin Hare, attempted to help a traveler with a flat tire.

The traveler, Smith, allegedly approached Hare’s vehicle and began talking to him before pulling out a firearm and shooting the trooper. Hare died at the scene, and Smith managed to evade authorities immediately after the shooting. Authorities claimed Smith could be in the area, advising citizens against approaching the accused murderer due to his possession of a firearm.

Smith reportedly stole Hare’s vehicle after the fatal shooting and used the car to travel more than 100 miles from the initial crime scene. Authorities believe Smith had assistance in avoiding the statewide manhunt, although police haven’t identified any accomplices. According to police, the fatal shooting isn’t the first time Smith committed a crime within New Mexico, as the accused murderer has a history of violent felony convictions within the state. Smith also has a history of stealing motor vehicles, such as Hare’s police-issued patrol vehicle, which Smith used to travel to Albuquerque following the initial shooting.

Police quickly honed in on Smith’s location following the shooting, as a witness reported seeing Smith at an Albuquerque gas station. Police then established patrols in the surrounding area and monitored Smith to record his movements. Smith eventually spotted police, resulting in a foot chase through multiple yards before a brief firefight ensued. One witness claims they saw Smith run through his backyard before using his child’s trampoline to attempt to jump over his fence. Authorities quickly followed Smith, resulting in a brief shootout that saw Smith sustain non-fatal injuries. Following the shootout, police arrested Smith and transported him to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Shortly after his arrest, police filed charges against the accused gunman for his alleged crimes surrounding the fatal shooting. Authorities claim Smith committed a robbery with the same firearm he used to kill Hare and that Smith attempted to hinder an investigation by trying to mess with incriminating evidence. Smith also faces multiple charges related to his use of the firearm, including a vandalism charge and a charge related to car theft for stealing Hare’s vehicle. Authorities also charged Smith with Hare’s murder, which could see Smith receive life in prison without parole if convicted.

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