ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A police officer shot during a traffic stop in Albuquerque died early Thursday, October 29 just more than a week after an ex-convict opened fire on the decorated police veteran outside a pharmacy, police said.
Chief Gorden Eden said in a statement that Officer Daniel Webster, who was shot on Oct. 21, died at 2:30 a.m. Thursday following an emotional week in which local eateries launched fundraisers to support the wounded officer’s family and hotels donated lodging for relatives. He was 47.
Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil held over the weekend in support of Webster and in memory of Lilly Garcia, a 4-year-old girl killed during a road-rage shooting the day before Webster was shot.
Webster had served on the police force for nearly nine years and was Albuquerque police’s Uniformed Officer of the Year in 2013. He also served in the U.S. Army.
“Officer Webster was the very best example of a life committed to public service, through his service to our country and to our community,” Eden said in a message to the police force early Thursday.
Webster suffered gunshot wounds to his upper body and jaw on the night of Oct. 21 after Davon Lymon, 34, opened fire outside a pharmacy and fled, police said.
Lymon’s lengthy criminal history and those of men charged in other recent high-profile cases in New Mexico have led to widespread criticism from law enforcement officials. They are calling on the Legislature to enact sentencing reforms, and increase resources for police and prosecutors in high-crime areas.
In the days following the shooting, Eden described Webster as a high-performing, highly decorated officer. He had recently left a detective post to patrol the streets as the force faced an officer shortage.
Stephanie Lopez, the president of the local police union, told The Associated Press that Webster, who served as a representative on the union’s board of directors, was well-liked by his colleagues and had a great sense of humor.
“It was impossible to know him and not love him,” she said through tears. “Dan was the type of person that would go above and beyond his call of duty. Every contact with every citizen he made he definitely made a lasting impression. He would respond to make a difference.”
According to authorities, Webster had pulled over Lymon for riding a motorcycle with a stolen license plate. When authorities found Lymon, he was hiding in a shed with a handcuff on his left wrist. The suspect was hospitalized for injuries he suffered when he was apprehended by a police dog.
Authorities also said a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol was found in a vacant lot where Lymon headed after the shooting.
Lymon is in federal custody and faces one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records. A judge has ordered he remain jailed pending trial.
Lymon’s criminal record in New Mexico includes voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery charges from 2001. He pleaded guilty to charges in that case, and to fraud and forgery charges from the year before. He also faced aggravated battery and kidnapping charges last year that were dismissed, court records show.
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