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Suspect faces numerous charges after 14 hostages rescued at pistachio farm

KOB.com Web Staff and Brittany Costello
June 19, 2017 05:10 PM

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – New Mexico State Police officials rescued 14 hostages in an incident that was the result of an earlier shooting and pursuit in southeast New Mexico.

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NMSP says Tactical Team members entered McGinn's Pistachio Farm near Alamogordo Sunday afternoon where 21-year-old Kaleb Scroggins was barricading himself after the crash, along with the hostages. Officials said they first tried negotiating with Scroggins before entering one of the buildings on site. 

He has been taken into custody, and is being treated for injuries received in a crash before entering the building. 

Scroggins is charged with wo counts of aggravated assault upon a police officer; shooting at inhabited dwelling or occupied building; breaking and entering; aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer; and criminal damage to property. 

BEFORE THE HOSTAGE SITUATION            

According to NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas, Alamogordo police had identified Scroggins as a suspect connected to an earlier shooting in the city. 

At about 9 a.m. on Sunday, police located Scroggins, but weren't able to apprehend him before he led police on a chase. Kassetas said pursuit ended when Scroggins crashed into another vehicle along Highway 54 that contained multiple occupants. They were taken to a hospital; it is unclear the severity of their injuries. 

At that point, after a brief exchange of gunfire with police, Kassetas said the suspect entered a building on McGinn's Pistachio Farm, resulting in a standoff that lasted an hour to an hour and a half. Kassetas told KOB the Tactical Team that arrived soon after concluded Scroggins was not preparing to let any of the hostages go. 

At that point the team decided to enter the building and rescue the hostages, Kassetas said. They were taken to a hospital and "all of them were checked out OK."

After the rescue operation, Kassetas said, the suspect decided to give himself up. He added that Scroggins had a firearm as well. 

An update sent out by NMSP stated Scroggins has a criminal history that includes battery, concealing identity, breaking and entering, possession of a controlled substance and evading an officer.

Credits

KOB.com Web Staff and Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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