Authorities capture man wanted for NMSP officer’s murder

NMSP: Man wanted for officer’s murder captured in Albuquerque

It was a tip from an employee at a Murphy's gas station that gave law enforcement the break they needed.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico State Police have confirmed that Jaremy Smith, wanted for reportedly killing Officer Justin Hare, has been captured in Albuquerque after a shooting involving the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

It was a tip from an employee at a Murphy’s gas station that gave law enforcement the break they needed.

“I just walked away. I let my coworker know, ‘Hey, I need to call BCSO.’ I walked away, and I called,” the gas station employee said.

Smith was seen at the gas station early Sunday morning. That’s when a foot chase turned into a shooting nearby.

“He came in the second time about 7:02 in the morning, asked for a pack of cigarettes and I carded him because that is my job. I do remember from the reports his name is spelled differently, not like normal ‘Jeremy’ it starts ‘Jar,’” the gas station employee said.

For more than two days, law enforcement agencies in New Mexico and surrounding areas have been looking for Smith.

State police say he killed Hare in Tucumcari on Friday, and somehow made it to Albuquerque.

Smith’s decision to get cigarettes led an employee at Murphy’s to bravely call the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. 

“I was nervous, I was scared, didn’t know if he was armed. Actually, when I carded him, I was like, is he going to shoot me because he now knows who I am, or I know who he is?” the gas station employee said.

“The clerk description matched that of Jaremy Smith, deputies located Smith walking on Unser and immediately started to establish a perimeter at a nearby neighborhood near Dennis Chavez Boulevard and Unser,” BCSO Sheriff John Allen said. 

It wasn’t long before Smith got into a foot chase with deputies, who opened fire and shot Smith. Police said he had a gun.

“Yesterday we said that we would bring Jaremy Smith to justice, that there was nowhere he could run, and that there was nowhere he could hide. Today, thanks to our community, to our fellow law enforcement partners, we were able to do that,” New Mexico State Police Chief Troy Weisler said. 

No deputies were injured during the arrest. Smith is expected to survive.


Police say early Friday morning Hare was killed inside his State Police vehicle on the side of I-40. Hare was reportedly just trying to help the suspect deal with a flat tire.

Smith was driving a white BMW and was on I-40, westbound, west of Tucumcari. Hare pulled over to help.

Police say Smith walked over to the passenger side of Hare’s patrol unit.

According to NMSP, a short conversation ensued about fixing the tire and Hare offered to give Smith a ride to town. Without warning, Smith reportedly pulled out a gun and shot Hare. Smith then walked to the driver’s side and shot Hare again.

NMSP says Smith pushed Hare into the passenger seat and drove away in the patrol unit, which was abandoned a short time later.

“The last words that Officer Hare uttered on this earth was an offer to help the man who is about to kill him,” NMSP Chief Troy Weisler said. “I am disgusted and I am sickened by the actions of this cold-blooded murderer.”

Hare was a New Mexico native who grew up in Logan and Moriarty. He is survived by his parents, girlfriend, and two young children. A GoFundMe page has been created for his family.


On Saturday, police also confirmed that the case is connected to one in South Carolina — where Smith lives. They said the BMW Smith was driving belonged to Phonesia Machado-Fore, a woman who was reported missing. Their local sheriff’s office confirmed that she was killed and her body was found not far from where she went missing. She was a local paramedic.

Police say Smith is a person of interest in her death.