Tuesday, April 16, 2024

New Mexico Trooper Shooting Suspect: Had Long Criminal History, Dead Woman Found in Vehicle

HomeTop NewsNew Mexico Trooper Shooting Suspect: Had Long Criminal History, Dead Woman Found...

A horrific shooting has left the state of New Mexico grappling with profound grief and shock. In the early hours of Friday morning, a routine call for assistance along Interstate 40 took a devastating turn, resulting in the tragic death of a state police officer. The suspect, identified as Jaremy Smith from South Carolina, remains at large after what authorities are describing as an ambush-style attack.

The Nightmarish Ordeal

According to New Mexico State Police Chief Troy Weisler, the nightmare began unfolding around 5 a.m. Trooper Justin Hare was dispatched to aid a motorist whose white BMW had apparently suffered a flat tire. The driver, now believed to be the fugitive Smith, had been frantically trying to flag down other vehicles for help.

When Hare arrived, he approached the passenger side in a seemingly routine interaction about changing the flat or providing the stranded driver a courtesy ride. Without warning or provocation, the man pulled a firearm and fired through the window, striking the unsuspecting officer.

In a sickening act of depravity, the shooter then circled around to the driver’s side door and fired again, hitting Hare a second time at point-blank range. He callously shoved the critically wounded trooper into the passenger seat before peeling off in the patrol vehicle with Hare still trapped inside.

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A Frantic Search and Grisly Scene

Alarm bells sounded when Hare failed to respond to radio calls from dispatch. Another trooper raced to his last known coordinates, catching a glimpse of Hare’s hijacked patrol car speeding recklessly down a service road parallel to the interstate. Hare had managed to activate an emergency alert, but it was too late.

The pursuing officer briefly lost sight of the vehicle before coming across the nightmarish sight near mile marker 304 – the patrol SUV crashed on the side of the road, but no sign of Hare or his attacker.

It was a short distance up the road where the grisly reality came into focus. Around mile marker 312, the officer found Trooper Hare’s body. The 25-year veteran of the force had suffered catastrophic injuries and was rushed to the hospital, where he tragically succumbed to the gunshot wounds.

A Dangerous Fugitive’s Deadly Trail

In atwisting development that has exponentially compounded the urgency of the manhunt, New Mexico authorities believe Smith may be connected to another recent homicide hundreds of miles away in South Carolina.

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The car Smith had been driving when he crossed paths with Trooper Hare belonged to Phonesia Machado-Fore, a first responder who had been reported missing from Marion County, South Carolina earlier in the week. Her body was discovered in Dillon County on Friday as the investigation into Trooper Hare’s killing was already underway.

An autopsy is scheduled for Machado-Fore on Monday as authorities work to piece together the disturbing timeline and determine if the two cases are definitively linked through the fugitive suspect.

A Long Rap Sheet and Stern Warning

According to Chief Weisler, Jaremy Smith has an “extensive” multi-decade criminal record in South Carolina as well as connections to the Albuquerque area, though the nature of those ties remains unclear.

Law enforcement officials have issued an urgent warning that Smith should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Arrest warrants have been issued for the killing of Trooper Hare, and a multi-state, multi-agency dragnet is now underway.

In a stern address, Chief Weisler sent an unmistakable message to the suspect: “Jaremy Smith, we are coming for you. I implore you to turn yourself in and surrender peacefully.”

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A Heartbroken Community Mourns

The shooting death of Trooper Justin Hare, a 25-year veteran of the New Mexico State Police, has sent shockwaves through the community and law enforcement family. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke for a state in mourning, saying:

“This senseless act of violence cannot be tolerated. I grieve with every New Mexican for this courageous and dedicated officer killed in the line of duty while simply trying to render aid to a stranded motorist.”

As the search intensifies to bring Smith to justice, a heartbroken New Mexico honors the life and service of Trooper Hare, a husband and father who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The tragedy has cast a pall while stoking determination to leave no stone unturned in the manhunt for his suspected killer.

Anyone with any information about the possible whereabouts of Jaremy Smith is urged to immediately contact law enforcement. The public is warned to avoid any attempt at confrontation or apprehension, as the suspect is believed to be armed and exhibiting an unconscionable willingness to violence.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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