Colorado escapee accused of shooting officer arrested in Arizona

Elias Buck, 22, was arrested in Arizona a week after he was accused of shooting an officer in Farmington, New Mexico.

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — A man who was accused of shooting a police officer in New Mexico after escaping from the La Plata County jail in southwest Colorado was arrested Friday morning in Maricopa County, Arizona, according to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office(LPCSO).

Just after midnight on Jan. 14, a tip came into the Phoenix Police Department that Elias Buck and Victoria “Rossi” Hernandez were at a Quiktrip Convenience Store located at 8004 N. 27th Avenue in Phoenix, the sheriff’s office said.

RELATED: Search underway in southwest Colorado for man accused of shooting New Mexico police officer

Buck was wanted in connection with the shooting of a Farmington Police (FPD) officer during a traffic stop on Jan. 7. On that night, Officer Joseph Barreto contacted Buck because he matched the description of a possible drunk driver, according to FPD.

FPD said during that contact, Buck fired multiple shots at the officer, hitting him, and the officer fired back before calling for help. 

The injuries to Barreto, 25, were not life-threatening, police said.

After receding the tip about Buck Friday morning, police responded to the store and located Buck who attempted to get away but was ultimately detained, according to LPCSO.

Buck, who escaped from jail in La Plata County on Dec. 27. Hernandez, who was reported to be with Buck at the time of the shooting, was released pending the ongoing investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

RELATED: Man fatally shot while following his own stolen vehicle

FPD Chief Steve Hebbe released the following statement regarding Buck’s arrest.

“This is the culmination of a very emotional week for FPD. We look forward to working closely with the District Attorney as this case moves through the courts, so we can achieve our goal of holding all people involved in this incident accountable and keeping our citizens and officers safe.”

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