A New Mexico police officer became the 38th officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty this year. He is the second New Mexico officer to be shot and killed by wanted felons in the past month.
Alamogordo Police Officer Clint Corvinus was shot as he was attempting to stop a man fleeing from a felony traffic stop on Friday afternoon. The man had felony warrants. As the man was fleeing from Crovinus and the rookie partner he was training, the suspect opened fire, striking Corvinas. Corvinas was able to return fire, killing the suspect. The officer later died from his wounds after being transported to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, the Officer Down Memorial Page reported.
Officer Corvinus was a four-year veteran of the Alamogordo Police Department. He was the father of an 15-year-old girl, the Alamogordo Police Department reported on its Facebook page.
When the officers approached Joseph Moreno, 38, they learned he had three felony warrants. Moreno fled the scene in an apparent attempt to avoid yet another arrest. He reportedly drew a weapon and fired on the pursuing officers, striking Corvinus. The wounded officer managed to return fire and killed Moreno.
Police officers responded in massive numbers to the scene following threats of retaliation from Moreno’s associates. Tactical teams and police helicopters were on the scene to ensure the safety of the public and the officers investigating the shooting.
Moreno’s criminal history included being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, aggravated residential burglary, escape from custody and numerous probation violations, the police department reported. He was scheduled to appear in court on other charges later this year.
Police released photos of Moreno showing his heavily tattooed face.
Of Officer Corvinus, Facebook user Ron Keller wrote, “This fine officer gave his life for our community. Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fellow officers. This is just an awful tragedy.”
Jen Feuerstein wrote, “Very sad day for Alamogordo. My condolences to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones today. What a tragic situation.”
For the second time in less than a month, a police convoy escorted the body of a slain officer to his final resting place. Both Corvinus and Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez were gunned down by wanted felons.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez said in a written statement, “I am again so very saddened to see that yet another courageous law enforcement officer has been killed in the line of duty. The violence against our police officers has to end, and we must do everything we can to stand up for those who put their lives on the line every single day to protect us.”
The governor said she would ask the New Mexico Legislature to reinstate the state’s death penalty and make the killing of a police officer in the line of duty a capital offense, CBS News reported.
The Alamogordo High School football team honored Officer Corvinus during their game Friday night. The players added a blue line to their black and gold helmets and carried a flag that has come to symbolize the honoring of police officers gunned down in the line of duty. The flag resembles the American flag with black and white stars and stripes and has the added thin blue line representing police officers.
Players from the opposing Los Lunas High School also honored the Alamogordo police officers present at the game Friday night.
Thirty-eight police officers have been gunned down this year in the line of duty, the ODMP reported. This represents a 65 percent increase over the previous year. Many of those deaths were assassinations. A total of 81 officers have been killed this year in the line of duty.
The most recent death came when Austin, Texas, police officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq died on Sunday from injuries related to an on-duty motorcycle accident. The officer was escorting a funeral procession when he was run over by a vehicle attempting to turn left through the middle of the procession. Officer Abdul-Khaliq was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a 17-year veteran of the Austin Police Department, the ODMP reported on Sunday.