CLOVIS – A New Mexico State Police vehicle driven by an officer who thought an active-shooter drill Wednesday at Clovis Community College was a real event overturned after another vehicle struck its passenger side, according to a state police news release.
The officer received minor injuries in the crash. A 45-year-old woman and an 11-year-old girl riding in the other vehicle, a Nissan Rogue, were taken to Plains Regional Medical Center with injuries not considered life-threatening, the news release said.
The state police news release said the Nissan was traveling north on Norris Street when it struck the passenger side of the state police vehicle, which was traveling east on Seventh Street. The release did not assign blame for the accident.
After the crash, NMSP learned the report of an active-shooter threat at CCC was only a training exercise being conducted by the Clovis Police Department, the news release stated.
NMSP had not been made aware of the training exercise, officials from both agencies said.
In an email, Clovis Police Capt. Roman Romero wrote, “We did not inform the New Mexico State Police about our training, we never do. This training had been coordinated with CCC and the Clovis Fire Department to test our combined capabilities for an event I hope we never have to go through again.”
Romero stated that Clovis police posted a brief note on Facebook, “so our community realized that the multiple emergency vehicles at Clovis Community College were engaged in training. It has been a rough couple of months for our community, so letting them know that seemed important.”
Romero said that while Clovis police do not know how state police learned of the exercise, “it is heartening to know they will respond to assist our community for such an event.”
Romero, who was at the active shooter drill at CCC, stated he originally thought the accident involved a Clovis city police vehicle.
“Establishing radio communications with the New Mexico State Police has been a topic of conversation for some time,” he stated, and state police, Clovis police and the Curry County Sheriff’s Department are working to mitigate the situation.
The crash investigation is still active and ongoing and is being led by the New Mexico State Police, the news release stated.