New Mexico Officer to Appeal Firing for Shooting at Van Full of Kids

Was terminated on Friday


TAOS FE, N.M. — A New Mexico State Police officer, who opened fire at a minivan carrying a disobedient driver and her five children during a chaotic October traffic stop, plans to appeal his firing, his attorney said Monday.

Officer Elias Montoya was fired Friday, the day after a disciplinary hearing was held in the case. Attorneys for Montoya said the veteran officer intends to file an appeal for wrongful termination.

Video of the event, which occurred near the resort town of Taos, was recorded from a police car and has drawn national attention. 

The traffic stop turned chaotic when the driver fled the scene as the officer attempted to cite her for speeding. About a half mile down the road, the driver, Oriana Farrell, pulled over again. The woman's five children were also inside the van.

Footage of the scene showed Farrell exit the van, but then she climbed back in as an officer tried to arrest her. The video footage also shows at least two of Farrell's children exiting the vehicle to confront officers.