State Police Officer Shot Dead After Stopping to Help Motorist, Suspect Captured and Now Under Guard

State Police Officer Shot Dead After Stopping to Help Motorist, Suspect Captured and Now Under Guard

CORRECTION, March 18, 2024: Jaremy Alexander Smith was arrested Sunday. An earlier version of this article had a different day.

Early Friday morning, a New Mexico state police officer pulled over on Interstate 40 to assist a motorist with a flat tire.

It ended up costing him his life.

On Sunday morning, the man suspected of killing Officer Justin Hare was arrested after a foot chase in Albuquerque, according to KOB-TV. And Hare’s might not be the only death on his hands.

According to KVII-TV in Amarillo, Texas, the suspect was driving a white BMW owned by Phonesia Machado-Fore, a paramedic in Marion County, South Carolina, who went missing on Thursday.

Her body was found Friday evening. Jaremy Alexander Smith, 33, is considered a “person of interest” in her death.

But Machado-Fore’s body was found long after Hare had pulled over.

According to KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico state police said Hare had been dispatched about 5 a.m. after authorities received reports that a motorist had a flat tire and was trying to flag down help.

When Hare responded, according to the station, he offered the motorist, identified as Smith of Marion, South Carolina, a ride to get help.

The state police said Smith shot Hare twice in the chest, according to KVII. The officer was found alive and rushed to a hospital in nearby Tucumcari, but pronounced dead at 7:21 a.m.

Almost 24 hours later, according to KVII, a gas station clerk in Albuquerque saw a man matching Smith’s description and called police.

When Bernalillo County deputies responded, according to KVII, Smith fled, leading to a foot chase in which shots were fired.

Smith was hit an unknown number of times but was taken into custody.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he was taken to a hospital and is “under guard, being treated for his injuries,” according to KVII.

New Mexico State Police Chief Troy Weisler said authorities were confident Smith wasn’t going to get away.

“Yesterday, we said we would bring Jaremy Smith to justice. That there was nowhere he could run. That there was nowhere he could hide,” he said, according to KVII.

“Today, thanks to our community. Thanks to our fellow law enforcement partners, we were able to do that.”

According to KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, Hare is the father of two young children. In addition, he is survived by his parents and his girlfriend.

According to CBS News, he was 35.

Before Smith’s capture, according to KRQE, Weisler vented his outrage about how Hare died.

“The last words Officer Hare uttered on this earth was an offer to help the man who was about to kill him,” he said.

“I am disgusted and sickened by the actions of this cold-blooded murderer. We are bringing every resource to bear to bring Officer Hare’s killer to justice and we will not rest until that is done.”

New Mexico repealed its death penalty in 2009.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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