Man dies after car chase, officer-involved shooting in Ranchos de Taos

Police allege man was driving stolen vehicle


Updated March 15 at 8 a.m.

A man died at Holy Cross Medical Center Saturday evening (March 14) after he was shot multiple times during a car chase with New Mexico State Police officers, who pursued him north from Española into Ranchos de Taos.

Taos County Emergency Services Chief Chris Medina said in an update just after 7 p.m. that the man, who has still not been identified, died before he could be airlifted from the local hospital to a truama center.

According to a press release issued Sunday morning (March 15), state police officers encountered the man driving a stolen black vehicle on State Road 291 in Espanola shortly after 4 p.m. on Saturday. The man allegedly fled, made a U-turn onto State Road 68 and headed north through the canyon.

While a state police supervisor initially called off the pursuit due to "road conditions and traffic," another state police officer who was patrolling 68 was given permission to continue the pursuit when he encountered the black vehicle. The two-lane highway leading to Taos County is heavily trafficked on weekends and passes through several small communities along the Rio Grande.

The press release said at least one officer fired a shot during the chase and a "pursuit intervention technique" was employed to stop the black vehicle in Ranchos, causing it to flip over. One commenter on Facebook later described seeing road spikes laid out to stop the vehicle, but none were visible at the scene.

Officers alleged the male driver then brandished a firearm, prompting them to fire the fatal shots. No officers were injured during the shooting and the state agency is not identifying the officers who killed the suspect at this time.

Traffic was stalled for hours in both directions on State Road 68 near Cuchilla Road, where the chase came to an end. State police officers conferred inside a perimeter of yellow crime scene tape while deputies with the Taos County Sheriff's Office could be seen redirecting traffic along side roads.

On the northern edge of the scene, the black vehicle laid upside down with its trunk open, a right rear tire missing and several items scattered about.

This is a developing story and will updated.


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