© AP Photo/New Mexico State Police
Three New Mexico State Police officers react as a minivan driven by motorist Oriana Farrell pulls away from a chaotic traffic stop that included one officer bashing the van's window with his night stick and another, Elias Montoya, at left, firing three shots as the van drives off.
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children
during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired, a spokesman with the law enforcement agency said Friday.
Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez, a State Police spokesman, said he confirmed with State Police Chief Pete Kassetas that Officer Elias Montoya was no longer employed by the department. Montoya's termination was effective at 5 p.m. Friday.
Montoya has 30 days to appeal his firing to the Public Safety Advisory Commission, which is made up of civilians appointed by the governor. Montoya, who had been with the department for about 12 years, doesn't have a listed phone number.
The officer was placed on administrative leave with pay
earlier this week following an investigation into the shooting outside the northern New Mexico tourist town of Taos. On Tuesday, he was notified that the agency proposed to fire him, and Kassetas, in consultation with Department of Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden, made the final decision after a disciplinary hearing Thursday.