This update identifies the officer involved and gives additional details leading up to the shooting.
Hobbs, NM- On Thursday, April 15, 2021, the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called to investigate an Officer Involved Shooting near 537 East Navajo Drive in Hobbs, NM involving the New Mexico State Police. The State Police officer was uninjured, and the suspect fled on foot.
Agents learned that on April 15, 2021, at around 8:20 p.m., New Mexico State Police Officer Hector Baca was on patrol in Hobbs. He initiated a traffic stop on a Chrysler passenger vehicle on East Navajo Drive for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, a male passenger, later identified as Victor Ruben Ignacio Flores, 27, of Hobbs, fled on foot. Officer Baca gave chase and a foot pursuit ensued.
During the foot pursuit, Flores brandished a firearm and fired at Officer Baca multiple times. Officer Baca fired at least once from his department-issued duty weapon towards Flores, who was not struck by the officer’s gunfire. Flores evaded the officer and fled the area. A female, who was the driver of the Chrysler, was detained and released by State Police.
Through investigation, agents found 387 grams of methamphetamine in the backseat of the Chrysler. They also located Flores’s firearm in the area in which the shooting took place. Agents learned that Flores had a significant criminal record. At the time of this incident, Flores had an outstanding warrant for a probation violation regarding Trafficking a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, Conspiracy to Traffic a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Firearm or destructive device by a felon.
On April 16, 2021, at approximately 7:28 p.m. the Hobbs Police Department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team, located Flores at a residence in Hobbs. With the assistance of the Hobbs Police Department SWAT team, New Mexico State Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit, and Investigations Bureau agents, Flores was taken into custody without further incident.
Flores was booked into the Lea County Detention Facility on charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine, Assault with Intent to Commit a Violent Felony on a Peace Officer, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Resisting and Evading an Officer, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
State Police Officer Hector Baca has been employed with the New Mexico State Police since December 13, 2019. Officer Baca was not injured during the incident and Flores was not struck by gunfire. This case is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau. Upon completion, it will be given to the appropriate district attorney’s office for review.