Farmington police officer shot, wounded; suspect sought

January 8, 2022 GMT

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A Farmington police officer was shot and wounded by a DWI suspect who remained at large, police said Saturday.

The officer wounded Friday night, 25-year-old Joseph Barreto, was hospitalized in stable condition, a police department statement said.

Law enforcement officers, including SWAT teams, set up a perimeter around a neighborhood and conducted a search but no immediate arrest was made, the statement said.

The shooting suspect was identified in the statement and by Police Chief Steve Hebbe in a video posted on social media as Elias Buck, 22.

The statement said Barreto spotted Buck and a woman walking together and saw they matched descriptions of occupants of a car reportedly involved in drunk driving.

“Buck produced a gun and fired multiple shots at the officer, hitting him. The officer returned fire and radioed for assistance. The subjects ran away,” the statement said.

The statement said Buck was considered armed and dangerous and described him as 6-foot-1 (185 centimeters) and 185 pounds (84 kilograms) with green eyes and blonde hair.

Police and court records said Buck was wanted on arrest warrants in other cases in which he’s charged with crimes that include unlawful taking of a vehicle and aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer.