Manhunt continues for murderer of NM State Police Officer Justin Hare

The New Mexico State Police continue to be in active pursuit to capture a suspect responsible for the death of one of their own. The individual in question, 32-year-old Jaremy Smith from South Carolina, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Justin Hare. The incident occurred on Interstate 40 near the 318-mile marker early in the morning around 5:30 a.m. last Friday. According to reports, Smith had stopped on the highway due to a flat tire and was attempting to wave down passing vehicles when Officer Hare arrived at the scene and positioned his patrol car behind Smith’s vehicle.

During a press conference held on Saturday, Chief Troy Weisler of the New Mexico State Police detailed the events leading up to the tragic shooting. He explained that Smith engaged Officer Hare in a brief conversation at the passenger side of the police vehicle under the guise of needing assistance with the tire, only to suddenly draw a firearm and shoot the officer. Smith then proceeded to the driver’s side, shot Hare once more, and forcibly moved him into the passenger seat before fleeing the scene in the officer’s vehicle. The stolen police car was found abandoned shortly thereafter, with Smith still at large and deemed extremely dangerous.

Chief Weisler, visibly moved, spoke of Officer Hare’s final act of kindness, “On a cold, dark, and windy morning, he offered help to a person he thought was in need,” highlighting the cruel irony that Hare’s last words on earth were ones of assistance to the very individual who would take his life.

It has also come to light that Smith was driving a BMW that belonged to Phonesia Machado-Fore, a paramedic who was later discovered deceased in Dillon County, South Carolina. An investigation into her death is underway, with an autopsy planned for the upcoming Monday.

Chief Weisler further noted Smith’s extensive criminal record in South Carolina, which spans over a decade and includes both property and violent offenses. He emphasized the profound loss felt by the state police, marking the third officer to be killed in the line of duty within the last nine months—a stark contrast to the preceding 30 years without such an incident. Weisler expressed a fervent desire for such violence to end, mourning the loss of Officers Ferguson, Hernandez, and now, Hare, all of whom were “violently murdered in cold blood.”

As the police community mourns, they also stand resolute in their commitment to justice for Officer Hare, with Weisler firmly stating, “Jaremy Smith, we are coming for you.” Hare’s passing leaves behind a grieving girlfriend and two young children, a poignant reminder of the human toll of such senseless acts of violence.


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