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Mother reveals ‘utter terror’ after police shot at her and 5 children during traffic stop
A mother-of-five has spoken out for the first time about the terrifying moment where she and her children were shot at by police in their mini-van during a routine traffic stop.
Oriana Farrell was driving a vehicle carrying her five children, aged six to 16, when an officer fired three shots at them during in Taos, New Mexico in October last year.
She told GMA on Wednesday: ’I started thinking about children who have been shot, families who have been shot. I started thinking about Trayvon Martin.’
The cop then chased her down in his patrol vehicle and when she stopped for the second time, she refused to get out of the van. When she finally agreed, she jumped back inside as an officer attempted to restrain her.
With her younger children screaming and her eldest son Zeke leaving the car to defend his mother, the officer called for back-up cars.
As Farrell pulled away in terror, dramatic dash-cam video revealed the moment that Officer Elias Montoya, 53, fired three shots at the vehicle.
Farrell told ABC: ‘Even if I was speeding, that doesn’t require being shot at any point.’
Farrell and her teenage son were arrested after police brought them to a stop. She faced charges of child abuse, fleeing and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia for marijuana pipes allegedly found in the van.
The charges against the mother-of-five have been since dropped by an appellate court but the District Attorney still has the opportunity to bring charges against her.
The veteran police officer who was sacked last year after firing shots at the minivan said his ‘heart sank’ when he realized there were children inside.
Montoya, a father-of-three, said that tinted windows in the van kept him from seeing the children inside.
‘My heart sank when they finally stopped and I was at the passenger side at that time seeing them get out at gunpoint again,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t believe it that there were that many children in there.’
Montoya, who is appealing his department’s decision to fire him, insisted that it was the first time he had fired his gun on duty during his 12 years on the force.