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State Police chief ‘beyond disgusted’ by recent violence

LOS LUNAS, N.M. – A pair of shootouts between a suspect and law enforcement officers left the suspect dead and two sheriff’s deputies injured, prompting the head of the New Mexico State Police to say he is “beyond disgusted” by recent violence in the state.

State Police Chief Tim Johnson said Friday he hopes New Mexico legislators act during their 2022 annual session to combat violent crime.

“I hope I’m invited. I have some things to say about that – hopefully get some things fixed – but again, just beyond disgusted with what we’ve been seeing across the state for the last four, five months, maybe longer,” Johnson told reporters during a briefing on the shootouts Friday in Valencia County.

The violence came after a recent shooting that left four Albuquerque police officers injured – one critically – during a gunfight with an armed robbery suspect.

In Friday’s incident, the State Police said one deputy was shot and wounded in an initial encounter with the suspect and another person in a rural area west of Los Lunas.

A second deputy suffered shrapnel injuries during a subsequent shootout with the suspect after a vehicle chase that went through Los Lunas and ended in a crash, the State Police said.

At least two sheriff’s deputies and a State Police officer were involved in the second shootout and it wasn’t immediately known whose shot killed the suspect, the State Police said.

A woman who was with the suspect ran but was taken into custody, the State Police said.

The two deputies’ injuries were not life-threatening, the State Police said.

No identities were released and details of the initial encounter weren’t immediately available, the State Police said.