Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, May 18

Suspect in I-40 fatal shooting near Prewitt, New Mexico was wanted for homicide

MCKINLEY COUNTY, N.M. — The New Mexico State Police responded to an officer-involved shooting April 16 near Prewitt, that left one person deceased — a suspect in an out-of-state homicide.

According to a police report, at around 11:56 a.m., State Police Officer Corey Newman was dispatched to Interstate 40, near mile marker 64, regarding a welfare check on an unidentified male subject who was slumped over the steering wheel of a brown BMW. The location is in close proximity to Prewitt on the eastern part of the Navajo Nation.

Newman made contact with the subject, identified as Oliver Ashley Toledo Saldivar, 26, of North Carolina. Unbeknownst to Newman, Saldivar was a suspect in an April 12 homicide that occurred in Durham, North Carolina.

According to the police report, as Newman approached the BMW, Saldivar got out of the vehicle and locked the doors. Newman then asked Saldivar to stand on the passenger side of his marked state patrol vehicle while he got some information.

Saldivar walked over to the officer’s patrol unit and then reached for a black object that was concealed in his jacket pocket. Newman immediately created some distance and drew his duty weapon, but Saldivar charged the officer and tackled him, the police report states.

During the attack, Newman fired at least one shot— striking Saldivar. After the gunshot was fired, Saldivar continued to fight Newman and tried to grab Newman’s gun.

As the two struggled, Saldivar bit the back of Newman’s arm. At that point, Saldivar had managed to retrieve a gun from his jacket. He was holding the gun in his hand, attempting to chamber a round. But Newman managed to wrestle the suspect’s gun away from him and threw it to the side, according to the report.

A passing semi-truck driver saw Saldivar fighting with Newman and stopped to assist. The trucker observed the suspect's gun on the ground, and threw it further out of reach, and helped Newman take Saldivar into custody, the report states. Once the suspect was in custody, Newman called for an ambulance and medical aid was rendered to Saldivar.

Saldivar died of his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator. Newman suffered bite injuries to the back of his left arm. Newman is a four-year veteran of the New Mexico State Police.

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