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Suspect sought after New Mexico State Police officer fatally shot on highway: Authorities

A New Mexico State Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on a highway Friday, authorities said.

A suspect in the shooting remains at large, according to New Mexico State Police.

PHOTO: New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare is seen in this photo. (New Mexico State Police)
PHOTO: New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare is seen in this photo. (New Mexico State Police)

The shooting occurred early Friday morning on Interstate 40 near mile marker 320, near Tucumcari in eastern New Mexico, officials said. The officer -- identified by state officials as Justin Hare -- was fatally shot while responding to a call, according to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

"It's a tragic reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face each time they put on a uniform and report for duty," Lujan Grisham said in a statement. "Officer Hare was doing his job protecting his community, and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fellow officers at this most difficult time."

PHOTO: New Mexico State Police released this photo of a suspect sought in the fatal shooting of an officer. (New Mexico State Police)
PHOTO: New Mexico State Police released this photo of a suspect sought in the fatal shooting of an officer. (New Mexico State Police)

State police released photos of the suspect in the shooting and said he was last seen on foot on the I-40 Frontage Road at milepost 304, between Montoya and Newkirk, police said.

"The suspect is armed and dangerous, do not approach, call 911 immediately," New Mexico State Police said on social media.

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Authorities in Hartley County, Texas, previously told ABC News they had received reports that the suspect may have fled the scene on a train heading east into the Texas Panhandle region. But after a thorough search, Hartley County Sheriff Chanze Fowler said there were no passengers on the train and no evidence related to the suspect. There is additionally no evidence suggesting that the suspect is in the area, he said.

Details on the incident are limited at this time, state police said.

PHOTO: Authorities respond to the scene after a New Mexico State Police officer was fatally shot on Interstate 40, March 15, 2024. (KOAT)
PHOTO: Authorities respond to the scene after a New Mexico State Police officer was fatally shot on Interstate 40, March 15, 2024. (KOAT)

The unidentified suspect was last seen wearing blue jeans, a tan Carhartt jacket and either a red or brown hoodie, authorities said.

Anyone with information is asked to call New Mexico State Police.

ABC News' Cory Peeler contributed to this report.

Suspect sought after New Mexico State Police officer fatally shot on highway: Authorities originally appeared on abcnews.go.com