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4 killed when a sheriff’s office crashed in New Mexico

Four first responders were killed after one of the nation’s sheriffs crashed in New Mexico. Koren, Beers and Levison are the only three males identified so far.



Officials have identified the four first responders who died when a New Mexico sheriff’s helicopter crashed on Saturday.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and the Bernalillo County Fire Department each lost three of their members in a shooting near Las Vegas, New Mexico, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as Undersheriff Larry Koren, 55; Lieutenant Fred Beers, 51; Deputy Michael Levison, 30; and Rescue Specialist Matthew King, 44; all of the sheriff’s office.

In a press conference Monday, BCSO Captain Nick Huffmyer said that the helicopter had left Albuquerque to assist with the East Mesa Fire and was assisting ground crews with air logistics and bucket drops.


At some point after refueling the helicopter near Las Vegas, all communication with the crew vanished, officials say.

The crash site was found quickly. The cause of the plane’s demise is still a mystery.

According to Huffmyer, the cause is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the New Mexico State Police.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed her condolences to the families of the fallen first responders on behalf of the state of New Mexico on Sunday.


This is what first responders do every day: tirelessly serving their fellow New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez tweeted.

Ordered flags to fly at half-staff until sunset on July 22 in honor of the first responders killed.

A moment of silence for the fallen first responders was observed during the sheriff’s news conference on Monday, during which he expressed his heartfelt condolences.

All of them had a strong work ethic, the sheriff said. To the point where I find some comfort in knowing that they died doing what they loved, we understood that they loved what they did.”


Koren, a 23-year veteran of the department, leaves behind a wife and two children.

A 13-year sheriff’s department veteran, Beers leaves behind a wife, son, mother and sister.

As a sheriff’s deputy for over four years and a father of two, Levison leaves behind his girlfriend, parents and two brothers, one of whom is also a deputy in the same agency.

His wife, son, and daughter are all mourning the loss of their father, who served in the military for more than a decade.


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