Man holds 7-year-old son hostage in NM stand off, under investigation in Louisiana

Man holds 7-year-old son hostage in NM stand off, under investigation in Louisiana
State Police Investigations Bureau agents learned that Kirkland and his wife were under investigation by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office for an incident that occurred in Louisiana.

DOÑA ANA COUNTY, NM (KCBD) - An Arizona man is being treated for his injuries at a New Mexico hospital after New Mexico State Police shot him during a stand off. Officials say on Wednesday around 8 a.m., NM State Police assisted Border Patrol and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office with a vehicle that bypassed the Border Patrol checkpoint. The vehicle was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of I-25.

Border Patrol and Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office deputies began chasing the vehicle. At around 8:04 the suspect vehicle stopped on the west shoulder of southbound I-25 around mile post 37. Inside the vehicle were the driver, 39-year-old James Kirkland of Kingman, AZ, his wife and their 7-year-old son.

When the vehicle stopped, Kirkland’s wife ran from the vehicle. Kirkland armed himself with a gun and barricaded inside the vehicle, holding his son hostage. Officers on scene began negotiating with Kirkland to get him to peacefully surrender and release his son. During the negotiations Kirkland made several statements towards officers indicating he was going to kill his son and then himself. He also placed his son between himself and officers.

During the standoff, a State Police officer fired his weapon and shot Kirkland. Other officers and deputies on scene immediately rushed in to remove the child from the scene and to secure and render aid to Kirkland. The child was safely rescued, and Kirkland was air lifted to an area hospital where he is being treated for injuries not believed to be life threatening. The child, wife, and officers were uninjured.

During the investigation, State Police Investigations Bureau agents learned that Kirkland and his wife were under investigation by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office for an incident that occurred in Louisiana. Agents learned the wife indicated to her employer that she had been kidnapped by Kirkland. Her employer called Louisiana detectives who were able to trace her phone to north of Las Cruces, NM. Officers and deputies involved in today’s incident were unaware of the investigation and incident in Louisiana.

State Police officers are at the hospital with Kirkland until he can be booked into jail. Kirkland is facing numerous state and federal charges. The child is in CYFD custody and the female victim is receiving medical treatment for conditions not related to this incident.

The identities of the victims or the current location of Kirkland will not be released by State Police. The State Police officer who fired his weapon was placed on standard leave, and their name will not be released until interviews are complete. State Police Investigations Bureau agents continue to investigate this case. Additional information will be released when available.

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