Officer Down Memorial

New Mexico State Police

Officer Walter G. Taber
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Grants
Died on September 28, 1937 – Age 40

On September 22, 1937, Officer Taber’s motorcycle was struck by a vehicle in Santa Fe. He died six days after the accident. At the time of his death, Officer Taber had been a New Mexico State Police Officer for two years. Prior to joining the State Police, Officer Taber served in the United States Army, and was a World War I Veteran. He was survived by his wife and daughter.

 Officer Walter G. Taber

Officer Jose “Joe” F. Quintana
New Mexico State Police

Military Duty
Died on March 21, 1944 – Age 29

In 1942, Officer Quintana took a leave of absence from the State Police and Joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was a Lieutenant in the Air Corps and was assigned to England, ferrying airplanes for the Air Service Command. On March21, 1944, he was killed in an airplane crash in England. He was survived by his wife and one child.

Officer Mackie C de Baca
New Mexico State Police

Military Duty
Died on December 12, 1944 – Age 31

In 1941, Officer C de Baca was drafted into the United States Army. He served as a lineman and was involved with the D-Day invasion of Europe. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Gallantry in action near St. Barhelmy, France in August of 1944. He was killed in action on December 12, 1944. He was survived by his wife.

 Officer Mackie C de Baca

 Officer Leslie D. Bugg
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Tucumcari
Died on August 21, 1946 – Age 26

On, Tuesday, August 20, 1946, Officer Bugg was on Patrol on U.S. Highway 66, near Tucumcari, NM. While patrolling on his motorcycle, he was struck by a car that was traveling in the opposite direction that crossed into his lane. He died the following day. Officer Bugg had been with the department for less than six months, and had served with the U.S. Army during World War II. He was survived by his wife and four children.

 Officer Leslie D. Bugg

Officer William T. Speight
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Alamogordo
Died on February 21, 1949 – Age 38

On February 2, 1949, Officer Speight was attempting to maintain an FCC generator on Wolford Mountain. While hiking to the generator location, he blacked out. Officer Speight died of exposure. He had been prone to blackouts since being wounded by gunfire in 1939. Officer Speight had been with the department for 12 years. He was survived by his daughter.

 

 Officer Nash P. Garcia
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Grants
Died on April 11, 1952 – Age 39

On Friday, April 11, 1952, Officer Garcia began a pursuit of a vehicle that had broken several traffic laws. The two suspects in the vehicle had been involved with Officer Garcia on previous occasions. The suspects lured Officer Garcia onto a curvy mountain road. As he rounded a corner, one of the suspects shot him with a high powered rifle. He was then removed from his vehicle and beaten with the butt of the rifle. The suspects hid his vehicle, and lit it on fire the next day. Officer Garcia had been with the department for 10 years. He was survived by his wife and three daughters.

 Officer Nash P. Garcia

Sergeant John “Jake” Ramsey
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Hobbs
Died on August 5, 1953 – Age 39

Sergeant Ramsey, Patrolman Joe Aven, and another officer were traveling to Sweetwater, Texas to follow up on an investigation. A vehicle attempting to pass another vehicle came into their lane. Sergeant Ramsey took evasive action to the right. The driver of the other vehicle steered to the left, and the vehicles collided head on. Sergeant Ramsey died at the scene. Patrolman Aven died the following day. The third officer in the vehicle survived the accident. Sergeant Ramsey had been with the department for four years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

 Sgt. Ramsey

Officer Joe T. Aven
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Hobbs
Died on August 6, 1953 – Age 30

Patrolman Joe Aven, Sergeant Ramsey, and another officer were traveling to Sweetwater, Texas to follow up on an investigation. A vehicle attempting to pass another vehicle came into their lane. Sergeant Ramsey took evasive action to the right. The driver of the other vehicle steered to the left, and the vehicles collided head on. Patrolman Aven died the following day. Sergeant Ramsey died at the scene. The third officer in the vehicle survived the accident. Officer Aven had been with the department for four years. He was survived by his wife and daughter.

 

Officer Robert E. Lee
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Las Cruces
Died on August 16, 1960 – Age 30

On August 16, 1960, Officer Lee was driving on U.S. Highway 70. He was responding to a call of pedestrians walking on the roadway. As he was en route, a vehicle made a sudden U-turn in front of him. Officer Lee applied his brakes and attempted to stop, but he skidded into the other vehicle. Officer Lee was ejected from the vehicle as it flipped over. Officer Lee had been with the department for five years. Prior to that he had served in the U.S. Navy. He was survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.

 Officer Lee

Captain James E. Clark
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Clovis
Died on September 16, 1960 – Age 55

On September 19, 1960, Captain James Clark was attempting to cross a double track train crossing on U.S. Highway 60-84. On one side of the intersection there was a barn, house, and tall plants. As he entered the crossing, his unit was struck by a train. Captain Clark had been with the department for 23 years. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and two sons.

 Captain James Clark

Officer Bennie Williams
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Portales
Died on July 9, 1963 – Age 25

On July 9, 1963, Officer Williams was driving on a rain slick highway, when he lost control of his vehicle. His vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest. Officer Williams died while en route to the hospital. Officer Williams had been with the department for three years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.

 Officer Bennie Williams

Officer Antonio Jaramillo
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Santa Rosa
Died on February 2, 1965 – Age 25

On January 31, 1965, Officer Jaramillo was investigating an accident scene in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. A vehicle came through the intersection where the accident had occurred and struck Officer Jaramillo. He died three days later. Officer Jaramillo had been with the department for one year. Prior to joining the State Police, he had served in the U.S. Air Force.

 Officer Antonio Jaramillo

Agent Robert Romero
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Attorney General’s Office
Died on September 30, 1967 – Age 39

On September 30, 1967, Agent Robert Romero was involved in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 64. He died as a result of the crash. At the time of the accident, he was assigned to the Attorney General’s Office. Agent Romero had been with the department for eight years. Prior to joining the State Police, Agent Romero served in the U.S. Army, and was a World War II Veteran. He was survived by his wife, son, and three daughters.

 Agent Robert Romero

Officer Robert Rosenbloom
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Albuquerque
Died on November 8, 1971 – Age 28

On November 8, 1971, Officer Rosenbloom stopped a vehicle on Interstate 40. During the traffic stop, a gun battle broke out. Officer Rosenbloom was shot in his neck and chest with .45 caliber rounds. The three suspects later hijacked a plane to Cuba. Officer Rosenbloom had been with the department for nine years. Prior to joining the State Police, he served in the U.S. Army. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.

 Officer Robert Rosenbloom

Officer David Coker
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Santa Rosa
Died on November 18, 1979 – Age 31

On November 18, 1979, Officer David Coker stopped a vehicle on Interstate 40. The driver exited his vehicle and approached Officer Coker with a .38 caliber revolver. After making Officer Coker empty his weapon, the suspect took him down an embankment onto the right of way area. Officer Coker removed his jacket and removed a back up weapon and fired at the suspect. The suspect fired at the same time. Officer Coker was struck in the face, and died. The suspect was able to climb back up the embankment, where he fell over. A passing motorist stopped and stood by until officers arrived. The suspect died at the scene as well. Officer Coker had been with the department for four years. He was survived by his parents.

 Officer David Coker

Officer Ricardo Gomez
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Gallina
Died on April 17, 1980 – Age 31

On April 17, 1980, Officer Gomez was attempting to arrest a DWI suspect in the Gallina area when the suspect pulled out a .22 caliber pistol and shot Officer Gomez in the shoulder. The shot severed a major artery and Officer Gomez bled to death. Officer Gomez had been with the department for 10 years. Prior to joining the State Police he served in the U.S. Navy. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.

 Officer Ricardo Gomez

Officer/Pilot Lowell Howard
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Santa Fe
Died on August 6, 1984 – Age 37

On August 6, 1984, Officer Lowell Howard was piloting a plane that struck a power line. The plane crashed into the ground. Officer Howard and a passenger were both killed. Officer Howard had been with the department for six years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

 Officer Lowell Howard

 Officer David Smith
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Farmington
Died on August 6, 1984 – Age 29

On August 6, 1984, Officer Smith was a passenger in an airplane that struck a power line and then crashed. Officer Smith and the pilot were both killed. Officer Smith had been with the department for six years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.

 Officer David Smith

Officer Manuel Olivas
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Ribera
Died on February 1, 1985 – Age 32

On February 1, 1985, while investigating an accident on Interstate 25, Officer Olivas was struck and killed by a drunk driver, who fled the scene. The suspect was later arrested. Officer Olivas had been with the department for seven years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son that was born three months after he was killed.

 Officer Manuel Olivas

Officer Sherman L. Toler
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Tucumcari
Died on March 5, 1986 – Age 28

On March 5, 1986, Officer Toler made a traffic stop on Interstate 40. During the traffic stop, Officer Toler was granted consent to search the vehicle. During the search, the suspect attacked Officer Toler. The fight went to the ground and the suspect was able to get Officer Toler’s service weapon, a .357 magnum revolver. The suspect shot Officer Toler five times at close range. Officer Toler was able to stand up and retrieve a back up weapon. At this time, the suspect hit Officer Toler repeatedly in the head with the gun. The suspect then fled the scene. The suspect had a violent criminal history and had shot a California police officer earlier in his life. Officer Toler had been with the department for seven years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.

 Officer Sherman Toler

Officer/Pilot Wayne G. Allison
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Santa Fe
Died on February 13, 1988 – Age 32

On February 13, 1988, Officer Allison was piloting a plane that suddenly crashed into the ground. The cause of the crash was never determined. Officer Allison had been with the department for three years. He was survived by his wife.

 Pilot Wayne Allison

Officer Glen Huber
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Espanola
Died on January 26, 1991 – Age 35

On January 26, 1991, Officer Huber was checking on a deputy that had gone to a residence in Chimayo to serve a restraining order. Upon his arrival, Officer Huber was shot in the head with a high powered rifle. The suspect had shot and killed the deputy prior to Officer Huber’s arrival. The suspect also killed five other people that day, including children. Officer Huber had been with the department for 10 years. Prior to joining the State Police, Officer Huber served in the U.S. Army. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.

 Officer Glen Huber

 Officer Ramon Solis
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Roswell
Died on October 19, 2001 – Age 30

On October 19, 2001, Officer Solis was a passenger on a medical helicopter that was being used in a training session. The helicopter crashed. Officer Solis and another State Police Officer were both killed. A third State Police Officer survived, but suffered serious injuries. The pilot of the helicopter also survived. Officer Solis had been with the department for 10 months. He was survived by his parents.

 Officer Ramon Solis

 Officer Lloyd Aragon
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Grants
Died on August 1, 2001 – Age 37

On August 1, 2001 Officer Lloyd Aragon and another Officer were on their way to Albuquerque from Grants to testify in Federal Court. They heard on the police radio about a pursuit heading toward their location on Interstate 40. In an attempt to assist with the pursuit, they parked the unit on the right shoulder of eastbound Interstate 40 near exit 126. Officer Aragon then entered the center median on foot to deploy stop sticks, which are tire deflation devices. As the pursued vehicle approached the stop sticks, the driver of the vehicle drove into the center median and Officer Aragon was struck and ran over by the vehicle. He died instantly. The driver of the vehicle was apprehended immediately after and was charged with numerous felony charges. Officer Aragon had been with the State Police for eight years and had a total of 13 years in Law Enforcement. He is survived by his wife and two children.

 Officer Lloyd Aragon

Officer Damon Talbott
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Roswell
Died on October 19, 2001 – Age 21

On October 19, 2001, Officer Talbott was a passenger on a medical helicopter that was being used in a training session. The helicopter crashed. Officer Talbott and another State Police Officer were killed. A third State Police Officer survived, but suffered serious injuries. The pilot of the helicopter also survived. Officer Talbott had been with the department for 10 months. He was survived by his parents and sister.

 Officer Damon Talbot

Officer James A. Archuleta
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Espanola
Died on June 4, 2006 – Age 27

On June 4, 2006, Officer Archuleta was en route to a hospital while investigating a shooting. His vehicle struck a cow and rolled. Officer Archuleta was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Officer Archuleta had been with the department for two years. He was also a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. He was survived by his daughter, son, and fiancée.

 Officer James A. Archuleta

Officer Christopher M. Mirabal
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Alamogordo
Died on July 13, 2007 – Age 35

Christopher M. “Chris” Mirabal, a lifelong resident of Alamogordo, died Wednesday, June 13, 2007, as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while on duty as a New Mexico State Police Officer. He is survived by his wife and two children.

 Officer Christopher M. Mirabal

Lieutenant Michael C. Avilucea
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station: Alamogordo
Died on May 30, 2008 – Age 51

On May 30, 2008 Lt. Michael C. Avilucea was on special assignment near Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico. He was returning from a mission in Chama involving the recovery of explosives when a single vehicle rollover crash occurred. He was pronounced dead at the Tierra Amarilla clinic.

Lt. Avilucea was the commander of the Explosives Ordnance Disposal Team and a 26-1/2 year veteran of the State Police. He is survived by his parents, seven siblings and his son.

 Lieutenant Michael C. Avilucea

Sergeant Andrew F. “Andy” Tingwall
New Mexico State Police

Duty Station State Police Headquarters – Chief Pilot
Died on June 11, 2009 – Age 36

On June 9, 2009 Sergeant Andy Tingwall was on a Search and Rescue mission for Ms. Megumi Yamamoto near the Santa Fe Ski Basin.  While departing the mountain top after rescuing Ms. Yamamoto the tail rotor of the State Police Aircraft  Sergeant Tingwall was piloting struck the mountain side, causing a rapid decent and subsequent crash killing Sergeant Tingwall and Ms. Yamamoto.

Sergeant Tingwall, the Chief Pilot for the State Police Aircraft Section, was a 13 ½ year veteran of the State Police.  He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

 Sergeant Andrew F. "Andy" Tingwall

Motor Transportation Police Division

Inspector Daniel C. Rivera Jr.
New Mexico Motor Transportation Division

Duty Station: Anthony
Died on July 11, 1989 – Age 30

On July 7, 1989, Inspector Rivera was involved in a high speed vehicle pursuit. During the pursuit, Inspector Rivera’s vehicle struck the rear of a tractor trailer rig. Inspector Rivera had been with the department for seven years. Prior to joining the Motor Transportation Division, Inspector Rivera served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve. He was survived by fiancée, parents, five brothers, and sister.

 Inspector Daniel Rivera

Inspector Gregory A. Geoffrion
New Mexico Motor Transportation Division

Duty Station: Santa Fe
Died on November 11, 1997 – Age 34

On November 4, 1997, Inspector Geoffrion was investigating a suspicious vehicle parked on the shoulder of Interstate 25. As he and a deputy approached the vehicle, they noticed a female subject walking towards them and the abandoned vehicle. When the female subject was told to stop, she ran across the Interstate. Inspector Geoffrion ran after her. As he caught up to her, he was struck by two northbound vehicles. The assisting deputy pulled him out of the roadway. Inspector Geoffrion died of his injuries seven days later. He was survived by his mother and several siblings.

 Inspector Gregory A. Geoffrion

Officer Robert A. Potter
New Mexico Motor Transportation Division

Duty Station: Alamogordo
Died on August 16, 2012 – Age 42

On August 15, 2012, Officer Potter responded to a crash scene outside the restaurant where he was eating lunch. Two commercial vehicles collided. A commercial driver, who weighed over 400 pounds, was pinned inside his vehicle. At the scene, the temperature reached 115 degrees. Upon returning to his police unit, Officer Potter collapsed after a massive heart attack. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was performed, but he died at a local hospital. A K-9 officer and Honor Guard member, he worked for MTPD his entire career. He served in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. He is survived by wife JoAnne and son Matthew Duke.

Officer Robert Potter