Bystander guns down ‘violent’ homeless man who fatally stabbed New Mexico cop

A New Mexico officer was savagely and fatally stabbed by a mentally unhinged homeless man before a witness gunned the killer down.

Las Cruces Officer Jonah Hernandez, 35, was attacked for reportedly “no reason whatsoever” at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday after he answered a trespassing call at a local business.

Armando Silva, 29, who was a repeat offender with a very long rap sheet and a lengthy history of mental illness, ambushed the officer, stabbing him at least once with a butcher knife. Seconds later, an unidentified witness shot and killed the homeless man. No charges are expected to be filed against the witness for doing so.

“When he arrived, Armando Silva immediately attacked him with a large kitchen knife,” Police Chief Jeremy Story stated at a press conference. “For no reason whatsoever, Silva killed Officer Hernandez.”

(Video Credit: KTSM 9 NEWS)

After stabbing Hernandez, Silva lunged at a bystander who had grabbed a firearm from their car after witnessing the “unprovoked attack,” Story recounted. The witness fired at the attacker at least once, hitting and killing him, according to the police chief.

After eliminating the threat, the witness used the officer’s radio to call for help. Hernandez was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead from his injuries when he arrived.

Hernandez’s murder is the first death for the Las Cruces Police Department in the line of duty.

(Video Credit: City of Las Cruces)

“Hernandez was the 14th officer killed in the line of duty in the US this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, but the first ever killed on the Las Cruces force in its 96-year history,” the New York Post reported.

The homeless man’s criminal history included a 2015 conviction for kidnapping and aggravated battery with great bodily harm against a household member, which resulted in a prison sentence. Silva violated his probation multiple times and was sent back to prison in the following years, Story said,” the media outlet wrote.

Hernandez joined the Las Cruces police force in 2022. He leaves behind a wife and two young sons: 10-year-old Sebastian Jonah and 2-year-old Joaquin Leonel.

He was honored by his fellow officers who took part in a long police escort on Tuesday that traveled 46 miles to the fallen officer’s home in El Paso.

(Video Credit: KFOX14)

“We, as a law enforcement agency, are still trying to process the sudden and senseless death of one of our officers,” the police chief sadly commented. “This isn’t something you practice or are accustomed to.”

“Officer Jonah Hernandez was a compassionate and dedicated officer who was out doing his job while most of us were watching the Super Bowl. Jonah was attacked while making contact with the subject of a trespassing call. This sudden and unprovoked attack took the life of an officer, a husband, a father, brother, son, a friend, and a great young man,” Story stated.

“This is just one more agonizing reminder of the brokenness of the New Mexico justice system,” said Story. “On every call, there is potential for tragedy for [our officers].”

“We will mourn the loss of our brother forever,” the police chief said. “The Las Cruces Police Department will get through this together.”

On Tuesday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered all state flags to be lowered to half-staff from Wednesday through sundown of Feb. 19 in honor of Hernandez.

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