By Logan Smith

(CBS4) — A 22-year-old Colorado jail escapee who is suspected of shooting and injuring a Farmington Police Department officer was taken into custody in Phoenix early Friday morning.

The hunt for Elias Buck and his female accomplice, 28-year-old Victoria ‘Rossi’ Hernandez, lasted a week and involved law enforcement from local, state and federal agencies.

(credit: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

According to a Facebook post by the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, the Phoenix Police Department learned just after midnight that Buck and Hernandez were at a Quiktrip Convenience Store located at 8004 N. 27th Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona. Buck attempted to run from officers but was detained. While no officers were injured in the encounter, Buck was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on five counts of aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

Buck and Rossi were identified by Four Corners area law enforcement after Farmington PD Officer Joseph Barreto was shot and injured the night of Jan. 7. The officer approached the couple at an undisclosed location to inquire about a DUI incident. Buck was quickly identified as the shooter and described by La Plata County as armed and “very dangerous.”

Photos of shooting suspect Elias Buck (L) and Victoria Hernandez from the scene of the Jan. 7 shooting incident. (credit: Farmington Police Department/Facebook)

Accounts of the shooting incident do not indicate whether the Farmington officer fired his weapon. The officer suffered non-life threatening injuries and is expected to recover.

After the shooting, a $10,000 reward was offered by Colorado and New Mexico authorities for information leading to Buck’s arrest.

Phoenix police learned about the pair’s location Friday night from a tip.

Elias Buck in an undated booking photo. (credit: Farmington Police Department/Facebook)

Buck escaped from the La Plata County Jail on Dec. 27. He had been arrested three weeks prior on auto theft, robbery and assault felonies. A Durango Herald report states that Buck had been serving in the jail’s trustee program and was performing on-site jobs with a lower level of supervision when he escaped. He ran from the facility after scaling a fence.

Buck is scheduled to appear in court in Phoenix on Friday.

An undated booking photo of Victoria ‘Rossi’ Hernandez. (credit Farmington Police Department/Facebook)

Hernandez, meanwhile, was released. A spokesperson for Farmington police, Nicole Brown, told the Durango Herald that investigators are unsure if Hernandez will face criminal charges.

“There is going to be more investigation into that,” Brown said. “New Mexico laws on aiding and abetting are pretty complex.”

Investigators are also looking into other possible co-conspirators.

“They obviously didn’t get down to Phoenix on their own,” Brown added. “They probably had help. So we’re going to be investigating this fully into anyone that assisted them and what charges we can bring to that.”

Other agencies involved in the search and apprehension of Buck and Hernandez included the U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Acohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Mexico State Police, Colorado State Patrol, San Juan County, and La Plata County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Durango, Aztec (New Mexico), and Bloomfield (New Mexico) Police Departments.



Logan Smith