Attorney General Raúl Torrez disclosed on Tuesday that Las Cruces Police Officer Brad Lunsford will face a voluntary manslaughter charge after shooting Presley C. Eze Jr. at point-blank range at a Las Cruces gas station.
Las Cruces Police Officer Shooting Incident Report
The shooting incident happened on Aug. 2, 2022, at Chevron gas station. According to Las Cruces Sun-News, the case trailed back to a clerk who refused to sell Eze cigarettes as he could not present an ID. Eze subsequently went back to the store to steal a beer. The clerk then called 911 to report Eze. Las Cruces police officers Lunsford and Keegan Arbogast arrived at the scene. The Las Cruces police officer made contact with Eze ordering him to get out of his car. However, the attempt resulted in a struggle. The Las Cruces police officer and Arbogast pinned Eze to the ground where the Las Cruces police officer fired at the Black man once in the back left side of the head.
Las Cruces Police Officer Vindication
According to experts, the use of deadly force to apprehend an individual who resisted an arrest in the case of the Las Cruces police officer was not reasonable. The Las Cruces police officer surrendered to agents with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office Tuesday morning. However, the Las Cruces police officer was left off the hook after being booked on a single charge. The Las Cruces police officer’s voluntary manslaughter includes a “firearm enhancement”. If convicted, the Las Cruces police officer’s penalty will increase from six to eleven years.