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Las Cruces police chief confirms elderly woman with knife was shot on Saturday

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The chief of the Las Cruces Police Department confirmed to ABC-7 that an elderly woman with a knife was shot and killed on Saturday night.

As ABC-7 reported this weekend, family members say Amelia Vaca, 75, was shot and killed near Santa Fe Street and Fir Avenue.

Forty-two hours after the incident took place, the city of Las Cruces sent a news release confirming an officer had shot and killed a woman. However, the city did not release the woman's name or age, so ABC-7 approached Chief Miguel Dominguez at the Las Cruces City Council meeting.

“It’s still an open investigation right now," said Chief Dominguez, who confirmed the woman killed was elderly. He would not release her age.

When asked if the woman was threatening officers, Chief Dominguez said "we can confirm that she was holding a knife and at least one shot was fired.”

Vaca's family members said they were shocked to learn of her death this Easter weekend. They said they never imagined she would die this way.

“I always imagined it was going to be old age," said Michael Gutierrez, Vaca's grandson. "She lived this long. She went through so many things and survived, so what happened was not even in our minds."

Las Cruces police say the officer attempted to save the woman's life, but she died at the scene. He also said the Doña Ana County's officer-involved task force will continue to investigate the shooting.

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.



  1. Oh no! She had a knife. alberta and char liar will still blame the police for trying to get home to their families at the end of the night. Sad for the woman and the family. Should the woman have been in home care environment? And not out loose to cause havoc on the public?

    1. No one cares what alberta/charlie thinks, (not that he can think). You know, alberta has so many traffic citations, he can’t have many points left on his driver license.

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