Man who intervened in killing of Las Cruces Officer Jonah Hernandez won't be charged

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

District Attorney Gerald Byers will not prosecute the man who stopped a fatal attack on a Las Cruces Police officer, a decision announced Feb. 29.

Issiah Astorga, 29, shot and killed Armando Silva during the attack on Las Cruces Police Officer Jonah Hernandez Feb. 11. Silva stabbed Hernandez, who was responding to a report of a trespasser in the 300 block of South Valley Drive.

According to police, investigators presented facts of the case to the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Feb. 27.

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Astorga is represented by Luis Robles, an Albuquerque attorney. A news release from the Las Cruces Police Department said Astorga made the decision to intervene in Silva's attack on Hernandez when he witnessed the altercation.

According to a statement from Astorga that was released on Thursday, he saw that Silva had control over the officer. That prompted him to use a personal handgun that was in his vehicle and run toward the altercation.

"Due to the severe bleeding from the officer, I knew that the individual approaching me had a weapon. Fearing for my life, my girlfriend's life, and the officer's life, I fired my handgun," Astorga said in a released statement. "When I felt that it was safe to do so, I tried my best to aid the injured officer."

The woman Astorga is referring to was not identified by police.

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A third person, according to Astorga's statement, called for help while he attempted to aid the officer after shooting Silva.

"On Feb. 11, 2024, a tragedy occurred that should have never happened," Astorga said in a statement. "I, unfortunately, had the burden of being a part of that tragedy, and it will follow me the rest of my life.

"I truly wish that the events that happened that day never occurred. If I could go back in time and prevent any of this from happening, I would in a heartbeat. My heart goes out to family, friends, and every single person who has been affected. I hope that as a community, we can help each other to prevent anything like this from ever happening again."

Astorga called the incident a "traumatic event" and asked for privacy to focus on his mental health and to move forward.

"Please understand that me and my girlfriend need time to cope with what happened and heal from it," Astorga said in the statement. "I know that there will always be questions that come from a situation like this."

Las Cruces Police Chief Jeremy Story read Astorga's statement in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Watch the full statement here.

Jessica Onsurez can be reached at jonsurez@gannett.com. Follow her on X at @jussGREAT.

This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Man who intervened in killing of Las Cruces officer won't be charged