Man accused of shooting Farmington officer arrested in Phoenix

·3 min read

FARMINGTON — The man charged with shooting a Farmington police officer last week was arrested in Phoenix earlier this morning, ending a weeklong manhunt for the suspect.

Elias Buck, 22, of Durango, Colorado, is accused of third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery on a peace officer and felon in possession of a firearm along with a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence, according to court documents.

Buck allegedly shot Farmington police officer Joseph Barreto, 25, once in his right arm on Jan. 7 during a DWI investigation in the area of 10th Street and North Fairview Avenue.

Buck was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 14 after being spotted at a QuikTrip gas station at 8004 N. 27th Ave. in Phoenix, according to a Farmington police news release. He attempted to flee but was quickly detained.

Members of the Farmington Police Department SWAT team prepare to search Jumbo's Mini Storage at 908 N. Tucker Ave. on Jan. 8 for suspect Elias Buck
Members of the Farmington Police Department SWAT team prepare to search Jumbo's Mini Storage at 908 N. Tucker Ave. on Jan. 8 for suspect Elias Buck

The gas station is about two miles south of Castles N' Coasters at 9445 N. Metro Pkwy, just off Interstate 17.

Buck's girlfriend Victoria "Rossi" Hernandez, a person of interest in the case, was released pending an ongoing investigation.

"This is the culmination of a very emotional week for FPD," Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with the district attorney as this case moves through the courts, so we can achieve our goals of holding all people involved in this incident accountable and keeping our citizens and officers safe."

Barreto had surgery for his injuries on Jan. 8 at San Juan Regional Medical Center and is recovering at home.

Buck allegedly pulled a handgun on Barreto and fired the firearm multiple times at the officer, striking him once. Buck and Hernandez then fled the area after the shooting.

More: Farmington police release body camera footage from officer shot last week

Farmington police thanked multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI along with New Mexico and Colorado law enforcement agencies.

Elias Buck
Elias Buck

Farmington police and the county DA's office told The Daily Times Buck was charged in Phoenix with a count of battery on a peace officer.

Brown said Farmington police do not know when Buck will be extradited to New Mexico.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said the timing of Buck being brought back to Farmington depends on what the state of Arizona does with the charges he picked up in Phoenix.

Regional and state law enforcement conducted an exhaustive search in Farmington following the shooting as officers and SWAT members combed through nearby neighborhoods and businesses near the scene.

The defendant escaped from the La Plata County Jail in Colorado on Dec. 27. The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office issued a $5,000 reward for information leading to Buck’s arrest.

The U.S Marshals Service later kicked in $10,000 for reliable information leading to his arrest.

An incident command post was established on Jan. 8 in La Plata County after the sheriff’s office there received two tips that Buck might be in the area.

Victoria "Rossi" Hernandez.
Victoria "Rossi" Hernandez.

The U.S. Marshals Service, Colorado State Patrol and Durango Police Department assisted in the La Plata County search.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

A screenshot of body camera footage released by Farmington police shows a man police identified as Elias Buck pulling a handgun on Officer Joseph Barreto on Jan. 7. Buck is accused of shooting Barreto once in the right arm as the officer tried to detain Buck.
A screenshot of body camera footage released by Farmington police shows a man police identified as Elias Buck pulling a handgun on Officer Joseph Barreto on Jan. 7. Buck is accused of shooting Barreto once in the right arm as the officer tried to detain Buck.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e

More: Farmington police identify Elias Buck as man accused of shooting police officer Friday

This article originally appeared on Farmington Daily Times: Man accused of shooting Farmington, NM, officer arrested in Phoenix

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting