TAOS, N.M. (AP) – A fired New Mexico State Police officer says his heart sank when he learned after shooting at a fleeing minivan that there were five children in the vehicle.
“If I knew that there was even one child in that vehicle, I wouldn’t have done it,” Elias Montoya told ABC News (
http://abcn.ws/1eQaNoj) in an interview aired Friday.
Montoya was shooting at a tire but he missed. Nobody was hit by the three shots he fired during a chaotic traffic stop near Taos on Oct. 28.
Dash-cam video of the incident garnered national attention.
Montoya told ABC that before the shooting all he could see through the minivan’s tinted windows were silhouettes of heads when he arrived at the traffic stop to back up another officer.
Montoya, 53, is appealing his dismissal.
The minivan’s driver, 39-year-old Oriana Farrell of Memphis, Tenn., awaits trial on charges of child abuse and other crimes.
Farrell has said she was trying to protect her family when she twice sped away from officers.
The incident finally ended when she stopped in front of a Taos hotel. That’s when Montoya learned who was in the vehicle.
“My heart sank when they finally stopped and I was at the passenger side at that time seeing them get out at gunpoint again,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it that there were that many children in there.”
He said he was only trying to immobilize the minivan as it drove off.
“I’m not shooting at a human being. I’m shooting at a tire,” Montoya said.
Montoya, a father of three, later bought the entire family food from McDonald’s.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths