A stretch of Interstate 10 in Luna County in southwestern New Mexico is now a memorial corridor honoring a New Mexico state officer gunned down by a drug trafficking suspect on Feb. 4.
The State Transportation Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve the 18-mile memorial for Officer Darian Jarrott.
“That strip on I-10 will always have significance and a special meaning,” state Lt. Gov. Howie Morales told the commission.
Jarrott was killed near Deming while conducting a traffic stop of a pickup driven by Omar Felix Cueva, a drug trafficking suspect under investigation by federal Homeland Security Investigations.
Cueva opened fire and killed Jarrott, a 28-year-old Lordsburg resident.
Cueva then drove eastward on I-10 and was killed in a gunfight with law enforcement officers near Las Cruces.
Members of Jarrott’s family attended Thursday’s meeting, during which commissioners paid tribute to law enforcement officers, citing Jarrott’s death as an example of daily risks borne by officers and how quickly a violent encounter may unfold.