LCPD: Suspect killed by police lunged at officers with large knife

Deadly Las Cruces Police shooting

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Police shot and killed an alleged car robber who lunged at officers with a large knife, LCPD Chief Jaime Montoya said Monday.

Sunday's deadly officer-involved shooting that led to the death of 36-year-old Juan Gabriel Torres remains under investigation.

The shooting happened at about 4:30 p.m. while police investigated reports of a robbery and theft of a pick up on the 1300 block of Lohman Avenue. Torres had allegedly stolen an 86-year-old man's  2012 white Chevrolet pickup.

Police officers arriving at the scene reportedly saw Torres driving away in the pickup. Officers decided to pursue Torres on Lohman, but decided to call off the chase because of heavy traffic. A short time later, Torres allegedly abandoned the truck on the eastbound lanes of the Lohman overpass directly above I-25.

Torres, armed with a knife and carrying a bottle of beer, allegedly tried to open the door of at least one other vehicle on Lohman. When officers spotted Torres, they ordered him to drop the knife. Torres allegedly refused to obey the officers' orders.

Police shot Torres when he lunged at one of the officers with the knife, Montoya said Monday. He was struck several times, police said.

The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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