A man accused of aggravated murder in Ohio has been arrested in southern New Mexico for allegedly shooting and killing a local police officer during a traffic stop, officials said on Saturday.
Jesse Hanes, 38, faces one count of willful and deliberate first-degree murder for allegedly shooting a police officer on Friday during a traffic stop near a convenience store in the village of Hatch, New Mexico, said Kelly Jameson, a spokeswoman for the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department.
Additional charges are pending against Hanes, who is from Columbus, Ohio and had two passengers in his car at the time of the traffic stop, she said.
Jose Chavez, a 33-year-old officer with Hatch’s police department, was airlifted to a hospital about 80 miles away in El Paso, Texas, where he died Friday evening after surgery, Hatch Mayor Andrew Nunez and local authorities said.
Chavez had been with the department for two years. He had a wife and two children.
After the shooting, Hanes fled the scene in a Lexus that was seen racing on the highway at speeds above 100 miles per hour, the sheriff’s department said.
After evading police, Hanes is thought to have shot another motorist at a rest stop and stolen his Chevrolet Cruze, authorities said. The condition of the motorist is unknown.
Authorities surrounded the stolen Cruze after it crashed into a pile of firewood at a residence. Hanes had a gunshot wound to the leg and was taken to a local hospital, Jameson said. The wound appeared to have been self-inflicted, she said.
Hanes and another of the passengers in his car are wanted by authorities in Ohio in connection with the fatal shooting of a 62-year-old man on July 25, Ohio’s Chillicothe Gazette reported. The other passenger was not identified.
The investigation is ongoing, Jameson said in a statement.
(Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department corrects suspect’s age in paragraph 2 to 38 from 36)
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Chris Prentice in New York; Editing by Alexander Smith and Paul Simao)