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Police Officer, Suspect Fatally Shot in New Mexico

by Elisha Fieldstadt /  / Updated 
Residents add to a sidewalk memorial outside Alamogordo, N.M., police headquarters Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Chief Daron Syling said 33-year-old Alamogordo Police Officer Clint Corvinus died from his injuries at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center after being struck by gunfire.Jacqueline Devine / AP

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A police officer in New Mexico was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire Friday as he chased a man with a lengthy criminal record, authorities said. The suspect was also killed.

Alamogordo Police Department Officer Clint Corvinus, 33, died Friday morning after being shot as he and another officer were in a foot pursuit of Joseph Moreno, 38, and Moreno turned and fired at them, Alamogordo Police Chief Daron Syling said during a news conference.

Alamogordo police Officer Clint Corvinus. Corvinus, 33, was shot and killed Friday, Sept. 2, in Alamogordo, New Mexico, after he encountered a 38-year-old man with three active warrants out for his arrest and the suspect opened fire.AP

Corvinus and another officer had approached Moreno because he was allegedly acting suspicious in a residential area of Alamogordo, a town of about 31,000 east of White Sands National Monument, Syling said.

Syling said at some point during the foot pursuit Moreno shot at the officers and at least one officer returned fire. Syling did not say who fired the shots that killed Moreno.

Three active warrants were out for Moreno's arrest, and he had previously faced charges of felon in possession of a deadly weapon, residential burglary and escape of custody, Syling said. He also had several probation violations on his record, Syling said.

The New Mexico State Police is investigating the shooting, which marks the second time a police officer in the state has died in the line of duty in less than a month.

Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez was shot and killed by an Ohio fugitive about 100 miles west of Friday's deadly shooting in early August.

Undated booking photo provided by Alamogordo Police Department of Joseph Moreno. Police say Moreno was killed when gunfire erupted Friday, Sept. 2, in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Alamogordo police Officer Clint Corvinus was also killed.AP

"I am again so very saddened to see that yet another courageous law enforcement officer has been killed in the line of duty," said New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez in a statement. "The violence against our police officers has to end, and we must do everything we can to stand up for those who put their lives on the line every single day to protect us.”

Corvinus was a four-year veteran of the Alamogordo police force, who graduated from high school in the town, Syling said. He is survived by his parents, his girlfriend and an 8-year-old daughter, Syling said.

When asked how officers were dealing with another fallen officer, Syling said: "Our officers will remain professional, they will remain diligent. Our officers were called to do this duty and they will hold the line."

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