New Mexico cop fatally stabbed before witness shoots, kills suspect

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico police officer was fatally stabbed over the weekend while responding to a trespassing report and a witness to the attack apparently shot and killed the suspect before calling on the officer’s radio for help, authorities said Monday.

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The fatal stabbing and shooting took place late Sunday in Las Cruces, about 360 kilometres south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and some 75 kilometres northwest of El Paso, Texas.

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Las Cruces police said Patrol Officer Jonah Hernandez was stabbed at least once Sunday afternoon and died at a hospital where he was taken, police said.

The suspect in the stabbing, a 29-year-old man, was believed to have been shot and killed by the same witness, according to police. Police said the witness used the officer’s police radio to call for help afterward.

The name of the suspect was being withheld until his relatives could be notified, police said. The identity of the witness also wasn’t immediately released.

It was unclear whether the attack occurred at a home or business and whether the witness lived at the address or was a passer-by. But police said more information would be released at a news conference later this week.

Hernandez was a former resident of El Paso, Texas, who had served with the Las Cruces police for two years.

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