Farmington police searching for man who shot officer

22-year-old Elias William Buck

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police are searching for 22-year-old Elias Buck after shooting a Farmington police officer late last night.

Around 10:18 pm on January 7, 2022, officers responded to a report of a possible drunk driver in the area of East Main Street and North Tucker Ave. One officer contacted a man, later identified as Buck, and a woman, later identified as 28-year-old Victoria “Rossi” Hernandez, walking in the area who matched the description of the occupants of the car. Buck produced a gun and fired multiple shots at the officer, hitting him. The officer returned fire and radioed for assistance.  The subjects ran away. The officer was immediately transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he is currently in stable condition.

SWAT teams from FPD, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, and New Mexico State Police searched the areas of North Tucker Avenue, North Fairview Avenue, and connecting streets between East 20th Street and East Main Street, throughout the night. They were assisted by the SJCSO helicopter and NMSP drone operators. Buck wasn’t located, and FPD is now asking the public’s assistance in finding him. 

Buck is 6’1,” approximately 185 pounds, with green eyes and blonde hair. He is dangerous and known to be armed. We ask anyone with information about Buck’s whereabouts to immediately contact their local police department or dial 911. 

The officer involved in the shooting was Joseph Barreto. Officer Barreto is 25 years old and has been with the Farmington Police Department since 2018. 

This incident remains under investigation, and further information will be provided as it becomes available.