The widow of a New Mexico State Police officer fatally shot in the line of duty in February has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, asserting the agency failed to equip her husband.
The Albuquerque Journal reported that Gabriella Jarrott filed the suit in 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, naming the state Department of Public Safety as a defendant. It has been filed on behalf of her and the couple’s three young children.
When reached, the State Police declined to comment.
Officer Darian Jarrott pulled over 39-year-old Omar Cueva on Feb. 4 along Interstate 10 east of Deming. Police said Cueva shot Jarrott multiple times, including in the head.
Cueva fled the scene and fired on officers during the pursuit, police said. Las Cruces officers returned fire, fatally hitting Cueva.
Police said Jarrott was helping Homeland Security Investigation agents with a narcotics investigation when he pulled Cueva over. Cueva was the target of a federal drug sting involving a confidential informant and undercover agent, according to State Police documents.
Sam Bregman, Gabriella Jarrott’s attorney, alleges Jarrott was tasked with pulling over Cueva without any protective gear or backup. The officer had no idea how dangerous Cueva was but his superiors did, the lawsuit says.
Gabriella Jarrott is asking for unspecified damages.
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