ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico State Police are looking for a young woman who they say pointed a gun at an officer during a pursuit last month, prompting the officer to open fire on the truck.
Cynthia Franco, 18, is wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence. The incident was one of two State Police shootings that happened in just over an hour on May 16.
State Police spokesman Dusty Francisco said Cynthia Franco was riding in a truck with her uncle Daniel Franco, 41, when State Police officer Joseph Cloyd – brought in from Farmington as part of the Metro Surge Operation – tried to pull them over, near Washington and Central, for not having a license plate.
He said the driver refused to stop and officer Cloyd attempted a pursuit intervention technique on the truck, bringing both vehicles to a stop.
Francisco said that's when Cynthia Franco was seen with a gun in her hand.
“As Officer Cloyd was in position to the rear of the vehicle, the female turned toward him with the firearm,” he said. “Officer Cloyd feared for his safety and fired his department issued weapon which struck the vehicle.”
Nobody was injured in the shooting. Francisco said the Francos escaped after Cloyd collided with a bystander vehicle soon after. Officers found the truck abandoned in a nearby neighborhood and found a bag with guns and methamphetamine nearby.
At the time, officers traced the truck to Daniel Franco and found Cynthia Franco, who told police she was a passenger in the truck and “everything became a blur” when her uncle fled the traffic stop. Cynthia Franco also told officers that she had touched the guns in the bag before the pursuit.
“Cynthia Franco was interviewed by agents and released,” Francisco said.
State Police arrested Daniel Franco a week later, following a standoff at a home in southwest Albuquerque, charging him with aggravated fleeing, tampering with evidence and felon in possession of a firearm. Now they are looking to bring in his niece.
Francisco said officer Cloyd, a one year veteran with State Police, was placed on standard administrative leave.
“He is currently stationed in Farmington and was temporarily assigned in Albuquerque as part of the Metro Operation,” he said. “No further information is available.”