Traffic stop shooting cop gets new badge after being fired in 2013

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Fired State Policeman Shot At Van Full of Kids, Is Now a Sheriff's Deputy


By Aaron Hilf

TAOS COUNTY, N.M. - The former state police officer fired for shooting at a van full of kids in 2013 is wearing a badge again.

It was a controversial shooting, but Elias Montoya said the support he received from people around the state helped him make his decision to get back into law enforcement as a Taos County deputy.

Tuesday was his second day back on the job.

Montoya said he's excited.

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Traffic stop shooting cop gets new badge after being fired in 2013
FILE - This file image from video provided by the New Mexico State Police shows three New Mexico State Police officers reacting as a minivan driven by motorist Oriana Farrell pulls away from a traffic stop that included one officer bashing the van’s window with his night stick and another, Elias Montoya, at left, firing three shots at the fleeing van, Oct. 28, 2013. Faced with a rash of questionable police shootings across New Mexico, the state's main law enforcement academy has changed its cadet curriculum aimed at helping reduce deadly force encounters between officers and suspects. (AP Photo/New Mexico State Police, File)
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"Personally I feel very happy," said Montoya. "I'm glad that I'm back on the road, back on the streets, back in the community that I love."

The shooting took place during a traffic shop when he opened fire on a fleeing van. He said he didn't know five kids and their mother, Oriana Farrell, were inside.

He said he likely wouldn't have fired his gun had he known.

"I feel that I did what I needed to do that day. Same scenario, same situation, I would do the same thing all over again," he said.

Montoya said he was originally fired from New Mexico State Police after the shooting, but was offered his job back months later. He said no, and was able to submit a letter of resignation instead.

"I felt that at that time that was the best decision that I could make," he said.

His new boss, the Taos County sheriff, said Montoya was one of two new deputies hired out of a pool of 17. Montoya is currently going through some training with the county.

Mobile users: Tap for video

Farrell is still facing criminal charges. She will go on trial in late April for aggravated fleeing and child abuse.

Extended video: NM police chase Oriana Farrell in Taos

Take a look at the footage from the shooting:


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