New Mexico State Police has identified the man who was shot and killed during a car chase that ended in Ranchos de Taos on March 14 as Jeramiah Medina a 31.
New Mexico State Police has identified the man shot and killed during a March 14 car chase that ended in Ranchos de Taos as Jeramiah Medina, a 31-year-old from the Española Valley.
Police said the chase began when a state police officer patrolling Rio Arriba County Road 57 in Española tried to stop Medina in a black two-door Honda. Running the vehicle's license plates, the officer learned they had been stolen from somewhere in the Taos area.
According to court records, Medina has a criminal history stretching back to 2004, mostly for drug and traffic-related offenses, but a warrant was filed for his arrest on Jan. 23 after he was accused of shooting a handgun at his mother's vehicle in Española.
Medina allegedly failed to yield and fled, turning north onto State Road 68, heading toward Taos County, passing other vehicles in no-passing zones at high speed.
While a sergeant called the officer off the pursuit due to heavy traffic along the state road, a state police officer from Taos, Edward Archie, was given authorization to pick up the chase near mile marker 14 after he heard about the chase over his police radio.
Around mile marker 38 at the edge of Ranchos de Taos, police say Medina performed a U-turn and started heading south again, running over tire deflation devices police had laid in the roadway. Medina allegedly almost ran into a state police sergeant, Maco Oviedo, who fired his service shotgun at Medina's vehicle, which then veered into an embankment.
Medina continued heading south before Officer Archie rammed the black Honda, causing it to flip onto its roof near mile marker 40, where additional officers had set up a roadblock.
The officers alleged that Medina brandished a firearm inside the vehicle and shot at Officer Malik Mathews-Gordon, who returned fire. Christopher Romero, a second officer who had arrived at the scene to assist, also fired at Medina using an AR-15.
Medina was wounded multiple times during the shootout. Given the multiple shooters involved, state police said this week they do not yet know whose shots wounded the suspect.
The 31-year-old was treated at the scene and then driven by ambulance to Holy Cross Medical Center, where he died later that evening from his injuries before he could be flown by helicopter to a trauma center.
Officers Archie, Mathews-Gordon, Romero and Sergeant Oviedo – who all work in the Taos State Police district – have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the fatal shooting. The case will then be forwarded to the 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office for review.
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