LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – In day five of the trial of the man accused of shooting and killing a Rio Rancho police officer, investigators gave details about that arrest.
Accused cop killer Andrew Romero is on trial for the murder of Rio Rancho Police Officer Gregg Benner.
Investigators say they were able to track Romero’s getaway car because the vehicle was being driven recklessly and without any lights.
Prosecutors say after Romero shot and killed Officer Benner last Memorial Day and fled the scene, he ditched the Dodge Durango in a neighborhood off Unser and McMahon, and took off in a 2002 Chevy Impala.
Police say after they finally got that Chevy Impala to pull over in a gas station parking lot in the South Valley, they say the male in the passenger seat identified himself as Andrew Romero.
Investigators say they caught up with Romero around Rio Grande and I-40.
“I looked across to my right where that gas station was and saw a silver Impala and at that point I saw a male subject run out of the store and get into the front passenger seat of that Impala,” said NMSP Criminal Investigator Mitch Bengston.
Prosecutors introduced photos as evidence from that same gas station they say Romero had just robbed.
Sergeant Diane Dosal for the Albuquerque Police Department told jurors the suspect in the video wore jean shorts, black and white shoes and a Nike jacket, and is carrying what appears to be a gun.
Later in her testimony, she identified Andrew Romero as the subject in the video that robbed the gas station.
Investigators also testified as the Impala pulled into the gas station on Rio Bravo and Broadway, the front passenger tossed something out the window. Police found that something was a gun.
Prosecutors showed photos of it and said it Romero who was sitting in the front passenger seat and the person who tossed it from the car.
According to investigators an employee working at the Valero gas station in the South Valley also told police she saw it being tossed from the Chevy Impala as it was pulling in to the parking lot.
“It’s a Beretta 9mm, and I noted that the safety switch or the safety lever was in the firing position,” Rodger Brunson, part the Mew Mexico State Police Crime Scene Team said.
Brunson also said there were at least 10 more rounds in a magazine he pulled form the gun.
Tomero’s attorneys argued that during the pursuit the state couldn’t be sure who was sitting where in the car and who tossed the gun.