A Sierra Vista Police Department officer is recovering at home, while a shoplifting suspect remains hospitalized in Tucson with non-life threatening injuries after they were struck by a car in Fry Boulevard on Friday night.
Although the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the incident is still ongoing, the identities of the male officer and the female suspect can now be released. The victims were SVPD Officer Joel Mercado and 29-year-old Huachuca City resident Shrere Nieto.
The driver who struck Mercado and Nieto while traveling eastbound on Fry Boulevard remained on scene and cooperated with investigators. The driver will not be cited for a traffic violation.
The incident occurred when Mercado observed a female in the area of the Rothery Educational Service Center, located at 3305 E. Fry Blvd., who matched the description of a shoplifting suspect reported at Ace Hardware. When Mercado attempted to take Nieto into custody, she fled on foot across Fry Boulevard. Mercado pursued and they were both struck by the car.
Officer Mercado was transported from the scene by ambulance to Canyon Vista Medical Center, where he was treated and released later that night. Mercado is recovering at home while being assigned to administrative leave. He has been employed with the Sierra Vista Police Department since 2015. Nieto was airlifted to Tucson, where she remains hospitalized in stable condition.
The Sierra Vista Police Department is assisting the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office as it continues its investigation into the incident.