Las Cruces PD: Man who killed officer had long history of prior offenses

Las Cruces PD: Man who killed officer had long history of prior offenses

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The man responsible for stabbing and killing an on-duty Las Cruces Police officer had a long history of violent and drug-related offenses, Las Cruces Police said during a news conference on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

LCPD Patrol officer Jonah Hernandez, 35, was stabbed shortly before 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, after responding to a trespassing call on the 300 block of South Valley Drive.

Las Cruces Police Chief Jeremy Story said Armando Silva, 29, stabbed Hernandez with a “large kitchen knife.”

After Silva stabbed Hernandez, he then tried to attack a bystander who witnessed the incident. The witness then retrieved his own firearm and fatally shot Silva, according to police.

Hernandez was transported to MountainView Regional Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

“Officer Jonah Hernandez was a compassionate and dedicated officer who was out doing his job while most of us were watching the Super Bowl. Jonah was attacked while making contact with the subject of a trespassing call. This sudden and unprovoked attack took the life of an officer, a husband, a father, brother, son, a friend, and a great young man,” the Police Department said in a news release.

Hernandez was the first Las Cruces Police officer killed in the line of duty, Story said during the news conference.

Story said the department is not recommending the witness to be charged and has no plans to name him until the investigation is complete.

The Police Department said once the investigation is complete, the case will be presented to the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office for review and determination if any charges are warranted.

Story adds that Silva had a history of violent and drug-related offenses.

Silva was previously convicted of kidnapping and most recently spent time in prison for attacking a man back in April 2023, according to court records obtained by KTSM.

Story also confirmed Silva was homeless.

Hernandez is survived by his wife, Yesenia Lopez, and two sons Sebastian Jonah, 10, and Joaquin Leonel, 2.

Hernandez was from El Monte, California, and grew up in El Paso. He was a 2006 graduate of Americas High School. He served as a Las Cruces Police Department officer since June 2022.

Funeral arrangements for Jonah Hernandez have yet to be finalized.

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