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UPDATE - Santa Fe Officer Killed In I-25 Crash Identified

This message is from the Santa Fe Police. We'll update when more information is available.

Santa Fe Police Officer Robert Duran died in a motor vehicle crash on Interstate 25 today following a pursuit of a motor vehicle. Officer Duran was well respected and loved by his peers. We as a Department and as individuals are still grieving and processing his loss.

Officer Duran joined the Santa Fe Police Department in January 2015 as a police cadet. He was assigned to the Patrol Section and served as a member of the department’s Emergency Response Team. Officer Duran was 43 years of age. He was married, and has two teenage sons.

Officer Duran is the third Santa Fe Police Officer lost in the line of duty.

From Deputy Chief Ben Valdez

"Our condolences are with the family of Robert Duran, and the family of the other driver, lost in today’s tragic crash. We humbly ask everyone to please respect the family’s privacy at this time and allow them time to grieve.

Multiple agencies including Santa Fe Police Department, Santa Fe Fire Department, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Fe County Fire Department and New Mexico State Police responded to the scene of a motor vehicle crash on Interstate 25 north of Old Pecos Trail.

At 11:06 a.m. a kidnapping in progress was reported to the Regional Emergency Dispatch Center at the Rancho Vizcaya Apartments. A male armed with a knife was taking a vehicle occupied by a woman.

Soon after at 11:14 a.m. SFPD located the vehicle near Sawmill Road and St. Francis Drive. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and the driver fled in the vehicle.

While eluding, the driver traveled on to Interstate 25 at St. Francis Drive, traveling northbound in the southbound traffic. Between the Old Pecos Trail exit and the Eldorado Exit, the driver got on to the northbound lane of traffic traveling southbound.

A crash occurred at Mile Marker 286 in the northbound lane. The crash involved at least four vehicles; two Santa Fe Patrol Units, the fleeing vehicle and an uninvolved vehicle.

A Santa Fe Police Officer and an uninvolved motorist died in the crash. The names will not be released until next of kin is notified.

The female victim exited the fleeing vehicle and was transported to a local hospital.

Interstate 25 is closed in both directions for motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Old Las Vegas Highway is also closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Law Enforcement are on scene conducting an area search for the suspect. We are asking area residents to stay in their home.

From an email sent by City Manager John Blair.

In light of today’s tragedy that resulted in the death of a Santa Fe Police Officer and a civilian, Mayor Alan Webber has put out the following statement:

“Tragically we have lost one of Santa Fe’s finest, a devoted police officer who gave his life in the line of duty and in service to this community. Our hearts are heavy, our community shocked and saddened by this tragic loss. We are thinking of his family. We send them our condolences and our love and extend our hands, our hearts and our hugs in sympathy. This hurts. And we are all hurting together.

“We also remember the innocent civilian whose life was lost in this tragedy. To her family and friends, we send our thoughts and prayers."

“Let there be no doubt that the combined law enforcement officers who are now working on this will find the suspect. Justice will be done. I want to thank everyone in all of the law enforcement agencies and in the law enforcement community who are stepping up to help and who offered their support in this difficult time.”

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.