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Man in chase dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound

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A vehicle pursuit with law enforcement Saturday night ended with the driver dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The driver, a 30-year-old man, had exited the pickup truck he was driving and shot himself once in the head, Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the Roswell Police Department, said.

The driver was subsequently transported to a local hospital where he later died. His name was not released by police.

Multiple RPD vehicles, as well as a Chaves County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and a New Mexico State Police vehicle were involved in the chase, which involved speeds ranging from 20 to 40 mph, according to Wildermuth.

A Roswell police officer had encountered the pickup at 6:20 p.m. near McGaffey Street and Atkinson Avenue and attempted to conduct a stop after doing a check on the vehicle and finding the truck’s registration and insurance were suspended, and that the owner of the pickup was wanted on two active warrants on charges of battery against a household member and failure to comply.

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The pickup did not stop and made several turns while remaining at slow to normal rates of speed, Wildermuth said. At one point, the pickup stopped at Bland Street and Atkinson Avenue, where a female passenger got out of the pickup and was soon detained by police.

The low-speed chase continued along Bland Street and continued for another 20 minutes. Wildermuth said the driver stopped at each of the posted stop signs.

Eventually, an RPD sergeant and a State Police officer deployed a spike strip in the area of Union Avenue and Jaffa Street, which the pickup’s driver ran over, puncturing at least one of the pickup’s tires.

Soon the driver turned onto Stacey Drive before reaching a dead end and then turning around and trying to exit, but was blocked by an RPD unit, forcing the pickup to come to a halt, Wildermuth stated. The driver then exited the pickup holding a gun to his head before firing the shot, Wildermuth said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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