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UPDATE: Witnesses describe Las Cruces police chase ending in gunfire

A Las Cruces police officer shot and wounded a person Friday evening, police said.

The shooting happened shortly before 10 p.m. near the intersection of Gardner Ave and Chaparro Street just a few blocks from Las Cruces High School.

Police said the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a man riding a mountain bike near the intersection of Alamo Street and Chaparro Street. The bicyclist did not stop for the officer resulting in a pursuit that proceeded south toward Gardner Avenue.

Neighbors said the chase was already going on before the Alamo and Chaparro intersection. Neighbors also said as the man was riding up Alamo street they heard him yelling police had the wrong idea and he wanted to go home back at police who were repeatedly asking him to stop with their lights and sirens. It’s then police say the man took a turn and went down Chaparro street.

It’s there police say the cyclist finally stopped, near Gardner and Chaparro, less than a quarter mile away from where the chase allegedly began. Neighbors said they heard several gunshots fired, police say at least one of those bullets struck the cyclist in the torso.

“I heard four gunshots, it was a pop, then three pops pretty quick,” said Rebecca Leiferman, a neighbor who lives near the final stop.

Neighbors said the man had been yelling at police during they chase they had the wrong idea and he just wanted to go home. Police say the investigators later found a gun near the bicycle at the final scene.

“As I walked up he was saying he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t breathe, which was fairly traumatic as he was bleeding quite a bit from his torso,” Leiferman said.

Investigators believe the bicyclist stopped on Chaparro, just north of Gardner. Investigators have learned that a second LCPD officer was also at the final stop. Investigators believe that at least one round was fired by an officer and the bicyclist was struck in his torso.

Officers administered first aid until Las Cruces firefighters arrived and took over emergency treatment. The suspect was transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center where he is being treated for his injuries.

The two LCPD officers were not seriously injured during the incident.

Investigators located what appears to be a handgun at the scene, near the bicycle.

As is standard protocol for such an incident, the officer who fired his duty weapon will be placed on administrative duty.

The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by the Officer-involved Incident Task Force which includes detectives from New Mexico State Police, the Las Cruces Police Department, New Mexico State University Police and the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office.

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