Las Cruces police respond to shooting, crash at college and Espina
This story was updated around 12 p.m. on March 5.
LAS CRUCES — Las Cruces police arrested a man suspected of shooting a woman before engaging in a shootout with an officer Friday in Las Cruces. The woman the man is believed to have shot is in critical condition, police said.
The announcement was made several hours after police blocked off the area of South Espina Street and University Avenue around 5:30 p.m. on March 4.
LCDD Det. Frank Torres said in a press release that Julian Valenzuela, 34, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault of a peace officer, aggravated flight from a peace officer and other counts.
Torres said police responded to the 700 block of Shannon Street around 5:30 p.m. after receiving calls about gunshots in the area. Police later discovered a woman with at least one gunshot wound there, Torres said. The woman claimed Valenzuela shot her and was able to give police a description.
Shortly after, an officer located Valenzuela near the 2000 block of South Espina Street. Torres said Valenzuela shot the officer. The officer then fired back before Valenzuela fled towards University Avenue.
Valenzuela then rammed a passing vehicle at the intersection of the university and Espina, where he was taken into custody, Torres said.
The woman was airlifted to hospital in El Paso and remains in critical condition, according to Torres.
The shooting and ensuing chase shut down a busy intersection in Las Cruces for several hours Friday night. He even caught the eye of State Senator Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces.
Cervantes admitted the shooting in a tweet sent at 5:40 p.m.: “Shots fired and heavy police presence at the University of Espina Las Cruces. Guns drawn.”
Police have asked witnesses or anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the LCPD at 575-526-0795.