The Murder of Justin Hare

Jaremy Alexander Smith, 33 executed New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare, 35,. Smith was on the run for approximately two days before being apprehended on the morning of March 17, 2024, just outside of Albuquerque, NM. This remains an active investigation. Smith is also a person of interest in the suspicious death of South Carolina paramedic, Phonesia Machado-Fore.

What Happened to Justin Hare?

On March 15, 2024, at approximately 5:30 a.m. Justin Hare, a state police officer in New Mexico, was dispatched to assist a possible stranded motorist. It had been reported that the driver was attempting to flag down passing motorists from the roadside of Interstate 40, near milepost 318, near the town of Tucumcari, NM, and close to the Texas state line. The motorist’s white BMW had a flat tire.

When Officer Hare arrived on the scene, he parked his patrol unit behind the BMW. The motorist, later identified as Jeremy Alexander Smith, approached Officer Hare’s front passenger side window. A brief conversation took place regarding the repair of the flat tire and getting a ride to the nearest town.

Without warning, Smith pulled a firearm and shot Officer Hare. Smith then walked around the police vehicle to the driver’s door and fired a second time at Officer Hare, striking him again. Smith pushed Officer Hare into the front passenger seat before sitting in the driver’s seat and driving away from the scene with Officer Hare inside the police cruiser.

Police dispatch attempted to contact Officer Hare, which all went unanswered. Police dispatched another state police officer to the scene to investigate why Officer Hare was not answering. While the officer was enroute to the scene, Officer Hare’s duress signal was activated, a signal only activated in an officer emergency.

A short time later, Smith pulled the police cruiser over on the shoulder of Interstate 40 at mile marker 305. He removed Officer Hare from the vehicle, leaving him on the side of the road near his abandoned patrol cruiser.

The next visual of the suspect was on Interstate 40, near mile marker 304, between the New Mexico towns of Montoya and Newkirk.

The Background of Jaremy Smith

Jaremy Alexander Smith is a resident of Marion, South Carolina. Police have not disclosed any information about his personal life. According to a New Mexico State Police social media statement, Smith has an extensive criminal history in South Carolina which includes: Taking hostages, Rioting in jail, Burglary, Breaking and Entering, Armed Robbery, Resisting evading police officers, Auto Theft, and Shooting at or from a motor vehicle

What Happened to Phonesia Machado-Fore?

Before his alleged involvement in the death of Justin Hare, Smith is being considered as a person of interest in the death of Phonesia Machado-Fore, 52. Machado-Fore was a seasoned paramedic and mother of four children in Dillion County, South Carolina, a county in the upper northeast area of South Carolina near the North Carolina state line. She had been reported missing on Thursday, March 14, 2024. At approximately 6:15 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2024, her body was discovered outside of Lake View, SC. Her death is considered suspicious. It was Machado-Fore’s white 2011 BMW 335i that Smith had been driving when he encountered New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare.

The investigation into the death of Machado-Fore is open and ongoing.

Jaremy Smith’s Apprehension

On March 17, 2024, the Berdelio County NM Sheriff’s Office held a press conference that announced the capture of Jaremy Smith. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Murphy’s Gas Station at 2730 Sunshine West Plaza Drive, Albuquerque, NM. The store clerk at that location reported a man fitting Smith’s description as being at the store. Sheriff’s deputies located a man walking near the intersection of Dennis Chavez Boulevard and Unser Boulevard. After a foot pursuit, Smith and police started shooting at each other. Police were able to apprehend Smith, who sustained injuries during the altercation. Police arrested and transported him to a local hospital for treatment under guard.

The Outpouring of Support for Justin Hare’s family

Following the announcement of Officer Hare’s death, law enforcement, emergency service agencies, and private citizens across America have extended their condolences not only to the Hare family, but to the New Mexico State Police.

Justin Hare was described as a truly great person and a “top-notch” police officer. Justin and his long-time partner, Diaz, are parents of two young beautiful daughters. Diaz is currently pregnant with the couple’s third child at the time of this writing.

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