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State Police officer shoots, kills man near Alamogordo

Benjamin Diaz (NMSP)

New Mexico State Police say one of their officers shot and killed a man who attacked him during a traffic stop near Alamogordo Friday morning.

Benjamin Diaz, 22, of Las Cruces was stopped by a State Police officer around 7:15 a.m. on U.S. 70 west of Alamogordo when police say he got out of his vehicle and attacked the officer with a knife.

“During the altercation, the officer fired his department-issued sidearm, striking Diaz,” State Police spokesman Dusty Francisco wrote in an email release Friday afternoon.

Diaz was airlifted to El Paso University Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

Francisco said the officer was treated and released from a local hospital after sustaining injuries in the altercation.

He said the name of the officer will not be released “until all interviews are completed,” but said the officer has been placed on standard leave.

Earlier Friday morning, Las Cruces police were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle made by Diaz’s mother. Francisco said the vehicle in the report was the same one Diaz was driving when he was stopped.