Home News Man accused of killing state trooper is shot, arrested in Albuquerque

Man accused of killing state trooper is shot, arrested in Albuquerque

New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare

Margaret O’Hara
The Santa Fe New Mexican

Jaremy Alexander Smith, a man suspected of killing a New Mexico State Police officer early Friday, was apprehended Sunday by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office following a pursuit and a shooting by deputies that left him injured.

Smith, 32, of Marion, S.C., is accused of fatally shooting Officer Justin Hare on Interstate 40 near Tucumcari after Hare had offered to assist him with a flat tire, authorities say. State police issued an arrest warrant charging Smith with first-degree murder and armed robbery, among several other offenses.

Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched around 7 a.m. Sunday to a shopping center in southwestern Albuquerque after a Murphy Gas Station clerk reported a man matching Smith’s description, Sheriff John Allen said in a news conference.

Deputies pursued Smith on foot before firing at him and striking him with a gunshot. Smith was then taken into custody and brought to a hospital, where he was being treated for the wound, Allen said.

The police shooting is under investigation by a multi-agency task force.

Hare, 35, of Logan was remembered by state police Chief Troy Weisler as a “pillar” of his Eastern New Mexico community. Now that Smith is apprehended, Weisler said, Hare’s family, friends and fellow officers will be able to grieve that loss.

“Yesterday, we said that we would bring Jaremy Smith to justice. There was nowhere that he could run, and there was nowhere he could hide,” Weisler said during the news conference Sunday. “Today — thanks to our community, to our fellow law enforcement partners — we were able to do that.”

Since Hare’s death Friday, law enforcement agencies, politicians and other New Mexico residents have offered condolences to his family and state police.

In a Facebook post, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office framed Smith’s capture as a “testament to the collaborative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies and the vigilant citizens of Bernalillo County.”

“When a law enforcement officer is killed anywhere here in the state of New Mexico, we stand as a unified front,” Allen said.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended her sympathies to Hare’s family and friends in a statement Sunday and thanked the law enforcement agents, first responders and medical personnel who responded to Hare’s death.

“Violent gun crime is a scourge in New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. “We must take decisive action to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous, repeat felony offenders.”

Smith is also a person of interest in the death of Phonesia Machado-Fore, a paramedic from Pee Dee, S.C., who was found dead Friday. Authorities say Smith was driving Machado-Fore’s BMW along I-40 when he got a flat tire, which resulted in his encounter with Hare.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina reported on its Facebook page Machado-Fore’s body was found about 6:15 p.m. Friday outside of Lake View in neighboring Dillon County. Her family had reported her missing Thursday evening. The Dillon County Coroner’s Office has scheduled an autopsy for Monday.

Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace on Sunday said he was relieved to learn of Smith’s detention.

“I believe that I speak for many here in Marion County when I tell you that I am overwhelmed with relief knowing that Jaremy Smith is in custody,” Wallace said in a statement posted on Facebook. “At this time, Marion County Sheriff’s Office has no charges on Jaremy Smith. Therefore, he will remain in the custody of New Mexico State Police to face charges.”

In the coming days, New Mexico State Police will be searching for anyone who may have taken Smith from the Tucumcari area to Albuquerque, Weisler said.

Memorial services for Hare also will be planned in the coming days, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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