New Mexico police fatally shoot man accused of truck theft (VIDEO)

© Elias ElCoyote Estrada
Police in Las Cruces, New Mexico, fatally shot a man with a knife believed to have been involved in a robbery and truck theft. The shooting, recorded and posted on Facebook, occurred as a funeral for a recently slain police officer was ending nearby.

The yet unnamed man shot by police allegedly stole a pickup truck and other items, then left the truck parked on a Lohman Avenue overpass of Interstate 25. Police spotted the stolen truck then approached the man, who was holding a knife at the time, they said.

Video taken of the shooting from a nearby car shows a man being followed and then surrounded by three officers. Six gunshots can be heard. As the car passes the scene, the three officers are seen addressing the man laying on the pavement.

"The officers fired at the suspect, striking him at least once," Las Cruces police said in a news release. "The suspect was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries."

The officers involved have not been named. None were injured during the encounter. The department is investigating the incident alongside an Officer-involved Incident Task Force that routinely probes use-of-deadly-force occurrences in the area, the Sun-News reported.

Prior to the shots fired, the man had exited the truck and ran to the passenger side of a nearby vehicle, a witness told the Las Cruces Sun-News.

"He knocked on the window and tried to open my son's door," said witness Martin Rodriguez, who added that he did not feel threatened and figured commotion on the overpass was due to the nearby funeral of Hatch Police Officer José Chavez. Rodriguez said the man then ran across Lohman Avenue.

"It must've been two to three seconds; I stopped at the next light, and all hell broke loose," he said of gunshots fired. He then saw a bystander run away from the shooting, indicating to him that the commotion had nothing to do with the funeral.

An ambulance was on the scene within minutes, Rodriguez told the Sun-News.

Las Cruces police are calling for witnesses of the shooting to offer more information.

Officer Chavez was fatally shot on duty with the Hatch Police Department on August 12. His funeral occurred near the site of Sunday's shooting, about two miles away at the Pan American Center.