SANTA FE (N.M.) -- Police were looking for a kidnapping suspect in Santa Fe. His escape from police into oncoming traffic resulted in a four-vehicle crash Wednesday. One officer who was pursuing him and at least one motorist who did not have anything to do with it both died.
On Wednesday night, police identified the victim as Robert Duran. He was a 43-year old senior officer who was assigned to the patrol section of the department.
According to them, Duran joined the department in January 2015. Duran leaves behind his wife and two teenage children.
Santa Fe interim police chief Paul Joye stated that Officer Duran was loved and respected by his peers. We, as individuals and as a department, are still grieving and processing the loss of Officer Duran.
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber promised justice to the fallen officer, as multiple police agencies continued their search.
"Let it be clear that the combined law enforcement officers working on this will locate the suspect," Webber stated. Webber stated in a statement that justice would be done.
At 11:11 a.m., a man with a knife and a knife-wielding hand allegedly took a car belonging to a woman.
Police said that the driver drove onto Interstate 25 after officers failed to stop it. Police said that the suspect drove in the direction of Albuquerque, northbound, as he was pursuing oncoming traffic.
Police said that the chase led to four vehicles colliding in a crash. Two were driven by police and one was driven by the suspect. The victim was inside the third vehicle.
Police stated Wednesday afternoon that two people were killed in the accident, with another motorist in the fourth vehicle who was not involved in the chase.
Governor. Michelle Lujan Grisham released a statement.
According to police, the suspect was able to escape.
The kidnapping victim was also able to get out of the vehicle and was transported to a hospital. Her name was not immediately released.
As they searched for the suspect in the area, police asked residents to remain at home. Meanwhile, cellphones buzzed throughout the county with an emergency alert advising people to avoid the interstate.
Mikaela McCray was a hostess in a restaurant close to the crash site. She said that the highway was full police vehicles, including at least one helicopter overhead.