Body cam video shows moment leading up to Las Cruces officer shooting, killing 45-year-old woman
The Las Cruces Police Department held a press conference Tuesday to give more information after a 45-year-old woman died after an officer-involved shooting earlier this month.
Police chief Jeremy Story held the press conference showing the 9-minute body cam video.
At about 4:45 a.m. on Oct. 3, a Las Cruces police officer made contact with 45-year-old Teresa Gomez, along with a passenger in her vehicle, near the 1300 block of Burley Court.
In the video, an 8-year veteran officer shot at least three times at Gomez while she was trying to run away.
Before the shooting happened, the officer asked Gomez to step out of the car, so he could ask her questions, which at first she denied before complying.
Gomez told the officer she was at a public housing after hours visiting a friend named Butterfly. The officer then went on to explain that she was trespassing.
The officer also noted the passenger in the car was also a frequent trespasser in the area.
As the video goes on, Gomez asks if she can sit back down in the car.
The officer who was writing down the information said yes, but instead Gomez started the car and tried to drive away.
The officer shot three rounds.
Gomez was taken to an area hospital, where she died.
“That's a complicated question because there are many things or factors that would go into that. There are certainly circumstances where an officer could shoot at someone who was fleeing, and it would be entirely justified and reasonable, but I don't want to draw conclusions on this case specifically," said Story when asked if it's protocol to shoot when someone is evading.
Las Cruces police presser on officer-involved shooting on Burley Court
Jesus Garcia, 38, the passenger in Gomez’s vehicle, was not injured. He was subsequently arrested on misdemeanor and felony warrants.
Gomez's lawyer and family provided the following statement:
The family alleges the officer was acting rude and belittling Gomez.
They also claim Gomez sped away very slowly.