Story of Murdered State Police Officer Takes Sick Turn: Suspect Was Allegedly Driving Car of Paramedic Found Dead on Other Side of US

Story of Murdered State Police Officer Takes Sick Turn: Suspect Was Allegedly Driving Car of Paramedic Found Dead on Other Side of US

One vehicle allowed authorities to connect the tragic deaths of two people separated by more than 1,500 miles.

Otherwise — in a cosmic sense — the reason the two victims’ lives ended prematurely lay beyond human understanding.

On Sunday, sheriff’s deputies in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, apprehended 33-year-old Jaremy Smith of South Carolina, wanted for the murder of 35-year-old New Mexico State Police Patrolman Justin Hare.

At the time of Hare’s death, the suspect drove a white BMW owned by Phonesia Machado-Fore, a paramedic from Marion County, South Carolina.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced in a Facebook post on Saturday that Machado-Fore’s body had been found the previous evening.

“Federal, state, and local officials continue to investigate this heinous crime,” the MCSO’s lengthy post read in part.

Meanwhile, Sheriff John Allen of Bernalillo County described events that led to Smith’s arrest.

Around 7 a.m. Sunday, a store clerk in Albuquerque recognized the suspect.

“The clerk’s description matched that of Jaremy Smith. Deputies located Smith walking on Unser [Boulevard], and they immediately started to establish a perimeter,” Allen said, according to KOAT-TV.

“During this time as they had an eye on Mr. Smith, a foot pursuit ensued,” the sheriff continued. “Shots were fired. Some shots strike Smith, we don’t know the amount right now or how many, that’s still under investigation. But Smith was then taken into custody without further incident.”

According to KOB-TV, the store clerk, who wasn’t identified, stayed calm while selling Smith cigarettes.

“I was nervous, I was scared, didn’t know if he was armed. Actually, when I carded him, I was like, ‘Is he going to shoot me because he now knows who I am, or I know who he is?'” the clerk said.

Understandably, deputies were eager to catch the man who allegedly murdered one of their fellow law enforcement officers.

On Friday morning around 5:30, Hare pulled over along Interstate 40 west of Tucumcari, New Mexico, and offered to assist Smith, whose (allegedly stolen) vehicle had a flat tire. According to authorities, Smith then shot Hare twice and drove off with the fatally wounded officer in the patrol car, which the suspect later abandoned.

Chief Troy Weisler of the New Mexico State Police undoubtedly echoed the feelings of many fellow officers.


“The last words that Officer Hare uttered on this earth was an offer to help the man who is about to kill him,” Weisler said. “I am disgusted and I am sickened by the actions of this cold-blooded murderer.”

On the other side of the country, co-workers and local first responders left social media tributes for Machado-Fore, according to WBTW-TV in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Last seen at her Marion home on Tuesday, the 52-year-old paramedic had worked for EMS in Florence County, South Carolina, since 2017. [grafs 2-5]

An FCEMS post on Facebook described her “infectious laughter, quick wit and devious smile.”

“She truly had a servant’s heart and genuinely loved people,” the department added.

A GoFundMe set up to help her family had raised about $3,000 toward its goal of $5,000 as of early Monday afternoon.

Authorities have not yet explained how Machado-Fore died or how Smith got hold of her vehicle.

According to WYFF-TV in Greenville, South Carolina, a Monday autopsy will determine the cause of her death.

Either way, the lives of a 52-year-old grandmother and a 35-year-old father ended prematurely. And only God can truly explain why.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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