NYPD police car. (Credit: Michael Förtsch on Unsplash)

Tragic: Bodycam Footage Shows Man Stabbing Police Officer to Death Before Armed Civilian Stops Him

In February, a police officer in Las Cruces, New Mexico, was viciously murdered by a suspect after responding to an emergency call. The local police department has released bodycam footage showing the tragic altercation that ended in the death of both the officer and his assailant.

Amid widespread staffing shortages among the nation’s police departments, this situation further illustrates not only the dangers officers can face, but also why it is important for civilians to be armed.

On a day that began like any other, Officer Jonah Hernandez responded to the call that would ultimately cost him his life. The released footage shows his encounter with 29-year-old Armando Silva, who stabbed the officer to death.

Hernandez responded to a trespassing call by the property owner at approximately 4:49 p.m. According to Story, the property owner confronted Silva for trespassing on the day before the attack.
There are ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the property, where Story said there has been a history of trespassing, vandalism and people leaving needles.
Story said at the same time the call was made, there were two other men who allegedly had cut a hole in the fence and were in the back part of the property.
Surveillance video captured by cameras on the property show Silva, in a dark hoodie and dark pants, walking around the building to a canopy in the back part of the property. Silva can see when Hernandez parks his vehicle along Valley at 4:55 p.m. and approaches.
On video captured by a body camera, Hernandez asks Silva if he is the person who made the trespassing complaint at the property.
Silva immediately approaches Hernandez with a knife in his right hand. Hernandez turns to run, but is stabbed before falling, after which Silva stabs Hernandez several more times. Hernandez is able to get to his feet, but falls.It is about this moment that Silva notices another individual approaching him. On Thursday, LCPD identified 29-year-old Issiah Astorga as the man who intervened in the attack, ultimately shooting and killing Silva.
Neither surveillance footage nor body camera footage show the interaction between Astorga and Silva, but three gun shots in succession can be heard from Hernandez’s body cam video, followed by another gunshot before Astorga is seen approaching Hernandez. Astorga and another person attempt to render aide to Hernandez and call for help.

Las Cruces Police Chief Jeremy Story reacted to the tragedy, pledging that he “will not stop until we see the change that makes Las Cruces and New Mexico safer.”

The incident further spotlights the growing need for enhanced safety measures, increased staffing, and a reevaluation of strategies to manage criminal activity and mental health issues in the community.

Silva was a homeless individual who had a known history of mental illness and criminal behavior, which adds another layer of complexity to this case, as well as others. It demonstrates the importance of the conversation on the best ways law enforcement officers should interact with those facing mental health problems.

The tragic incident also underscores the importance of an armed citizenry. While Astorga was unable to stop Silva from killing Officer Hernandez, it is quite possible that he saved other lives by taking action and using his firearm to stop the assailant. His decisive action would not have been possible if he had been unarmed.

Officer Hernandez’s death is a disturbing reminder of the risks law enforcement officers face while carrying out their duties. As the community grapples with this tragedy, it appears the department plans to honor the officer’s memory by implementing substantive changes to safeguard officers responding to these types of calls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Katie Porter Gave Up a Swing Seat in Congress to Lose to the Establishment

CNN Exit Poll: Among the Slim Margin of North Carolina Republican Voters Who Approve of Joe Biden as President, 83% Support Nikki Haley