The New Mexico State Police rescued 14 hostages, including a three year old, from a pistachio farm in southern New Mexico Sunday afternoon.
State Police identified the suspect as Caleb Scroggins, 21 from Alamogordo, NM.
Police said they were looking for Scroggins because he was a suspect in a shooting earlier in the day. During a search, police found Scroggin’s vehicle and a chase began. While traveling west, Scroggins failed to yield to northbound traffic on a highway and was t-boned. Scroggins got out of the car, exchanged fire with police, ran into McGinn’s Pistachio Farm store and took 14 hostages.
Law enforcement from multiple New Mexico agencies arrived. During negotiations, the State Police Tactical Response Team secured the perimeter. The tactical team rescued all the hostages and Scroggins surrendered peacefully shortly after.
Police believe Scroggins may have been armed when he took the hostages, but he was not armed when he surrendered.
“The Sheriff’s office worked very swiftly to talk the suspect out. He gave himself up. Didn’t have a weapon on him at the time but were going to go through the scene and see what’s in there,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas.
None of the hostages were injured, but they were evaluated at the hospital. Scroggins was treated for injuries from the car crash during the police chase.
Scroggins has a long criminal history. Past charges include battery of a household member, concealing identity, breaking and entering, possession of a controlled suspect and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
Charges against Scroggins for Sunday’s incidents are pending.