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New Mexico officer wounded, one suspect at large after escaping in police vehicle

Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 20:18:35-05

An encounter between a New Mexico officer and two suspects left the officer wounded, one of the suspects dead and the other at large after she escaped in a police vehicle, officials said Thursday.

It began at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday when the officer encountered what appeared to be a stranded vehicle in Hobbs, near the Texas border, a police statement said.

The male suspect ran away and multiple shots were fired, resulting in the Hobbs police officer and that suspect being shot, the statement said.

A woman who was with him was detained at the scene and placed in handcuffs. But “as this incident unfolded” and officers began rendering aid, she was able to drive away in a police vehicle, the statement said.

The police vehicle crashed a short time later and the woman ran off, the statement said.

The identities of the wounded officer and the man who died weren’t immediately released, but the statement identified the escaped suspect as 28-year-old Janessa Perez of Hobbs.

City spokeswoman Meghan Mooney said the Hobbs officer was hospitalized in stable condition and expected to recover.

The incident is being investigated by the New Mexico State Police, and Mooney said authorities planned to release additional information later.