By David Ferguson
A New Mexico police officer who shot at a van loaded with children in October has been fired from his job.
According to CBS News, a spokesman for the New Mexico State Police confirmed Friday that Officer Elias Montoya was stripped of his badge on Friday after a disciplinary hearing headed by State Police Chief Pete Kassetas.
At a press conference on Friday, State Police spokesperson Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez told reporters that Montoya’s termination would be effective as of 5:00 p.m. that day. Montoya, a 12-year veteran of the force, has 30 days to appeal the firing.
In October, Montoya opened fire on a minivan at a chaotic traffic stop outside the town of Taos, NM.
On October 28, an officer stopped African-American driver Oriana Ferrell for speeding, saying that she was going 71 miles per hour in a 55 zone. During the traffic stop, Ferrell — who was taking the kids on a family vacation from Tennessee — panicked and drove away, fearing for the safety of her five children from the white officer.
The officer pulled Ferrell over again and attempted to physically wrest her from behind the wheel. The confrontation escalated when Ferrell’s 14-year-old son got into a tussle with the arresting officer, who attempted to use a taser against the boy.