LAGUNA, N.M. – On Sept. 12, around 9:30 a.m., a New Mexico State Police Officer was patrolling Interstate 40 when she initiated a traffic stop at mile marker 130 near Laguna, New Mexico. The officer pulled over a GMC pickup, which was driven by a Scottsdale, Arizona man, Robert Benjamin Nelson. The stop was anything but routine.
The officer approached the pickup truck where Nelson fired several rounds, apparently aiming for the officer’s head. The officer was shot at least once, managing to recover enough energy to return fire at Nelson, according to NMSP Officer Ray Wilson
Nelson managed to flee the scene and headed in an eastbound lane on I-40. The officer returned to her vehicle – despite “having multiple injuries” – and chased Nelson. The GMC stopped near mile marker 135 as Laguna Police officers arrived on the scene to assist the injured NMSP officer. Officer Wilson said that Nelson was taken into custody shortly after without further incident.
The state police officer involved had non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital where she was treated and released. The officer is commissioned as a Federal Task Force Officer. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved and Nelson may be facing federal charges for the unprovoked attack, explained Officer Wilson
Nelson was booked into the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M. He is facing several charges: Attempt to Commit Murder; Aggravated Battery upon a Peace Officer; Shooting from a Motor Vehicle; Resisting, Evading, or Obstructing an Officer.
Officer Wilson explained that the details are still under investigation by the NMSP Investigations Bureau and that no further information will be released until more interviews have been completed. The shooting, accompanied by a handful of accidents, backed up traffic on I-40 for several hours.
The Cibola Citizen will continue to follow this story and update our readers when new information becomes available.