New Mexico Officer Shot During Traffic Stop: State Police

September 13, 2020 Updated: September 13, 2020

A New Mexico State Police officer was shot at Saturday during a traffic stop, said officials on Sunday.

The officer was shot after pulling over a driver on Interstate 40 near Laguna, New Mexico, at around 9:30 a.m., police said in a statement. The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Robert Benjamin Nelson of Scottsdale, Arizona.

“As the officer made her initial approach to the vehicle, Nelson appeared to fire multiple rounds at her head,” police wrote. “After being struck, the officer was able to recover and return fire at the suspect.”

Nelson then fled the scene and continued on I-40 as the injured officer engaged in a pursuit. Nelson then stopped on I-40 near milepost 135 and exited his vehicle.

Officers in Laguna arrived to assist the state trooper. Nelson was subsequently taken into custody without further incident, according to police.

“The state police officer-involved sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital where she was treated and released. Nelson was booked into the Cibola County Detention Center,” police said.

Nelson was charged with felony attempted murder, felony aggravated battery on an officer, felony shooting from a vehicle, and resisting an officer, according to the department.

“The state police officer involved is also commissioned as a Federal Task Force Officer so the FBI is involved in the investigation, and Nelson could face federal charges,” said the statement.

The officer’s name and condition were not released to the public, New Mexico State Police said.

According to the FBI’s data on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, around 2,116 officers were shot at in 2018, and about 6.1 percent of those officers were injured. In 2018, 106 officers were killed in the line of duty, according to data from the FBI.