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New Mexico officer stabbed to death while on duty before suspect is shot and killed by witness, police say

A New Mexico police officer died after he was stabbed by a suspect who was shot and killed by a witness to the attack on Sunday evening, police said. Las Cruces Patrol Officer Jonah Hernandez was stabbed at least once shortly before 5 p.m. after responding to a report of a trespasser, the Las Cruces Police Department said in a statement posted on social media.

A witness to the attack used the officer's police radio to call for help after the stabbing, but Hernandez died after he was taken to MountainView Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces, police said.

CBS affiliate KDBC-TV posted video of what appears to be first responders rushing Hernandez and the suspect to the hospital.

The suspect, a 29-year-old man, was believed to have been shot and killed by the witness, according to police, who did not release the suspect's identity pending notification of his next of kin.

Hernandez was a former resident of El Paso, Texas, who had served with the Las Cruces police for two years, the statement said. Hernandez is survived by a wife and two young sons.

The Las Cruces police said additional information will be shared later in the week.

Las Cruces is located about 223 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 46 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas.

The number of law enforcement officers nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2023 decreased 39% compared to the previous year, according to data released last month by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Of the 136 officers who died in the line of duty last year, only one officer was fatally stabbed, the statistics showed.

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