On March 14, 2020, at approximately 4:19 p.m., a New Mexico State Police Officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a black Honda two door passenger vehicle on Rio Arriba County Road 57 in Espanola, New Mexico. The vehicle failed to yield and fled. A pursuit was initiated. The vehicle license plate was reported as stolen from Taos and Taos Police Department took that report.
The driver, later identified as Jeramiah Medina (31) made a U-turn on State Road 291, and proceeded northbound on State Road 68, where a State Police Sergeant terminated the pursuit due to road conditions and traffic.
A State Police officer from Taos, Officer Edward Archie was patrolling on State Road 68 southbound near mile marker 14, when he heard about the pursuit. Officer Archie observed the Honda that officers had pursued earlier, traveling north on State Road 68 passing other vehicles in a no passing zone. Officer Archie was given authorization to re-engage a pursuit.
During the pursuit, the Honda made another U-turn approximately at mile-marker 38 on State Road 68 and proceeded back south. Sgt. Marco Oviedo set up tire deflation devices near mile marker 36 on State Road 68. As the Honda approached Sgt. Oviedo’s location, the vehicle struck the tire deflation devices and veered towards Sgt. Oviedo, missing him. The Honda came to a stop after the Honda made contact with an embankment. As Sgt. Oviedo approached the Honda, Medina drove the Honda towards Sgt. Oviedo. Sgt. Oviedo fired his department issued shotgun towards the Honda. The Honda continued to flee north on State Road 68.
Officer Archie and another State Police Officer pursued the Honda. Officer Archie was authorized by Sgt. Oviedo to utilize a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) on the Honda. A PIT was utilized which brought the pursuit to an end on State Road 68 near mile marker 40. Medina’s vehicle came to rest on its roof. From within the vehicle, Medina brandished a handgun and pointed it at Officer Malik Mathews-Gordon, who had parked his police vehicle near the Honda when he arrived on scene to assist. Officer Mathews-Gordon observed Medina brandish the handgun and observed Medina shoot at him. Officer Mathews-Gordon fired his department issued handgun towards Medina. State Police Officer Christopher Romero who also arrived on scene to assist observed Medina brandish a handgun, point and shoot at Officer Mathews-Gordon. Officer Romero fired his department issued AR-15 rifle at Medina. At this time, it is unclear which officer’s rounds struck Medina.
Emergency aid was rendered to Medina on scene. He was transported to Holy Cross hospital in Taos, where he later died from his injuries. During the subsequent investigation, Agents learned the Honda was reported as stolen from Santa Cruz, NM and Espanola Police Department had taken a stolen vehicle report.
No officers were injured during the incident. NM State Police Officer Edward Archie, Officer Malik Mathews-Gordon, Officer Christopher Romero and Sgt. Marco Oviedo were all placed on standard administrative leave. Officer Archie has been with the New Mexico State Police for approximately 2 years, Officer Mathews-Gordon and Officer Romero for approximately 9 months and Sgt. Oviedo for 14 years (2.5 years as a Sgt.). All officers and Sgt. Oviedo are currently stationed in Taos. Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to an assigned district attorney’s office for review.