11-year Alamogordo Police Department veteran Anthony Ferguson was killed while chasing a suspect early on Saturday morning, with the suspect using an illegally sawed-off shotgun to shoot him in the head. Officer Ferguson died from his devastating wounds the next day.
The chase occurred at 2:20 am on Saturday morning, when officers tried to pull over 26-year-old Dominic De La O, who was driving without headlights or tail lights. De La O refused to stop and, though police did not chase him with their vehicles, he soon crashing into a light pole. At that point officers, including Officer Ferguson, did chase him.
That’s when the shootout happened. De La O was hit in the leg during the gun battle but managed to hit Officer Ferguson in the face with a shotgun blast from a sawed-off shotgun, a weapon that is illegal to possess without a special NFA permit. That wound eventually killed Officer Ferguson.
The Alamogordo Police Department described what happened in a post on Facebook, saying, “It is with profound sadness that the Alamogordo Police Department announces the passing of Officer Anthony Ferguson who was shot in the line of duty on July 15th, 2023. Officer Ferguson was 41 years old and an eleven-year veteran of Alamogordo Police Department. Officer Ferguson was serving in the Patrol Division as a Field Training Officer. He is survived by his mother, father, four brothers, his daughter, and son. He was loved and admired by the citizens of Alamogordo and Officers alike. We would ask for the family’s privacy to be respected at this time. On Saturday, July 15th, 2023, at approximately 0218 hours, Officers from the Alamogordo Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Puerto Rico Avenue and 9th Street. The vehicle did not stop for Officers and attempted to flee. Officers did not pursue the vehicle. Soon after, Officers located the same vehicle involved in a crash in the area of First Street and Delaware Avenue. Officers observed a male subject fleeing the scene on foot. Officers gave chase in which shots were fired. As a result of the gunfire, Officer Ferguson was originally transported to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center and was later flown to UMC—El Paso. The suspect was struck by returned gunfire and his injuries were not life-threatening. New Mexico State Police took custody of the suspect for further investigation.”
The Alamogordo Police Department announced a memorial service for Officer Furgeson on Facebook, saying, “Alamogordo community, please join us at 2 PM on July 20th, 2023,as we come together to honor and pay our respects to Officer Anthony Ferguson for his funeral services. The service will be held at the Tays Special Events Center, located at 2400 N Scenic Drive. Please be advised that there will be limited parking available at the Tays Special Events Center parking lot for the tribute service for Officer Ferguson. Overflow parking can be used at the NMSU-A campus across from the Tays Special Events Center. For those unable to attend the service in person, the funeral will be live streamed by the KRQE news station. This will allow you to participate and join us in honoring Officer Ferguson remotely. We are grateful for the support and unity of our community, near and far.”
There will also be a candle-light vigil for the officer. It will take place on the night of July 19 and can be watched here:
The Office of the Twelfth Judicial District Attorney also joined in on Facebook and offered condolences for the fallen officer. Beginning, the office expressed its condolences for the fallen officer and department, saying, “Twelfth Judicial District Attorney Scot D. Key Joins the Alamogordo Police Department and the Entire Law Enforcement Family in Mourning the Loss of APD Officer Anthony Ferguson. District Attorney Key and the entire District Attorney’s Office staff extend their condolences to the Ferguson Family, the Alamogordo Police Department, and join the rest of the community in mourning the loss of Officer Ferguson.”
Continuing, the office described what was happening to the defendant, De La O, right now, saying, “There have been no criminal charges filed against the defendant at this time. The State is taking advantage of the fact that the defendant was arrested on a “no bond” warrant in another pending felony case. The defendant cannot get out of jail and the State will be presenting the case to the Otero County Grand Jury as early as next week. It is anticipated that the charges will include first degree murder.”
The office then noted that the ATF could get involved, presumably because of the illegally sawed-off shotgun, saying, “DA Key continues to work with multiple Law Enforcement agencies to ensure a full investigation is conducted and charges are precisely presented to the Grand Jury. The US Attorney’s Office and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have both been contacted about the incident and it appears there could be additional federal charges against the defendant. DA Key expects to present this case to a Grand Jury as early as next week and after that a charging document will be made available.”
It then returned to offering condolences, saying, “The 12th Judicial District is a small, united community and a multitude of people have been gravely affected by the shooting and loss of Officer Ferguson. As we continue to work on this case with our justice partners, we will focus on Officer Ferguson’s family and our law enforcement officers, with whom we grieve through this tragedy.”
Featured image credit: Alamogordo Police Department
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