Police Officer Jose Chavez
Hatch Police Department, New Mexico
End of Watch: Friday, August 12, 2016
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: August 12, 2016
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: In custody
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Trey Gimler
Hatch Police Department
133 N. Franklin Street
Hatch, NM 87937
Phone: (575) 267-5216
Police Officer Jose Chavez was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop on Franklin Street at approximately 3:40 pm.
One of the vehicle’s passengers exited the vehicle during the stop and opened fire on Officer Chavez, wounding him. Another officer who witnessed the incident immediately called for assistance and pursued the subjects at high speeds for several miles.
The occupants then carjacked a second vehicle at a rest stop along I-25 near Radium Springs, before continuing to flee. The subjects were taken into custody after a successful stop sticks deployment by responding officers.
Two of the subjects were identified as fugitives wanted for murder in Ohio.
Officer Chavez was transported to University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Officer Chavez had served with the 8-officer Hatch Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Chavez, 33, died after he was flown to an El Paso hospital. He was a father of two girls, ages 14 and 6. Chavez had only been on the force for two years.
A large crowd came together to mourn Chavez during a candlelight vigil Saturday night. Songs were sung, scriptures were read and memories were shared of Chavez.
Chavez’s sister, Patricia Ramirez, said that her brother was an amazing person and that his death has not been easy to understand.
"I keep hoping that they’ll tell us this isn’t real," Ramirez said. "We miss him a lot."
Ramirez said she and her family are very thankful for the support they’ve received since the shooting.
"Seeing all of these people out here, knowing that my brother was loved and that so many people were touched by him is truly amazing," Ramirez said.
Ultimately, Ramirez said, her family is anxious to have their day in court.
"We want justice because Jose was a great guy and he did not deserve this at all," Ramirez said. "It’s unfair."