In a tragic incident on Sunday evening, a police officer in New Mexico lost his life after being stabbed by a suspect during an on-duty altercation. The officer, identified as Las Cruces Patrol Officer Jonah Hernandez, was responding to a trespassing call when he was attacked and sustained at least one stab wound.
The Las Cruces Police Department confirmed the incident in a statement on social media, noting that the assault occurred shortly before 5 p.m.
In the wake of the stabbing, a bystander who witnessed the attack utilized Hernandez’s police radio to summon emergency assistance.
Despite being rushed to MountainView Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces, Officer Hernandez succumbed to his injuries. Coverage by CBS affiliate KDBC-TV captured the urgent efforts of first responders to transport both Hernandez and the assailant to medical facilities.
The assailant, a 29-year-old male, was reportedly shot dead by the same witness who intervened during the attack. Police have withheld the suspect’s name until his family is notified.
Officer Hernandez, who hailed from El Paso, Texas, had been a dedicated member of the Las Cruces Police Department for two years. He leaves behind a wife and two young sons. The police department has announced plans to release further details about the incident later in the week.
Located approximately 223 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 46 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces is now mourning the loss of one of its officers.
This incident comes at a time when national statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund indicate a 39% decrease in the number of officers who died in the line of duty in 2023 compared to the previous year, with only one officer fatally stabbed among the 136 line-of-duty deaths reported last year.