We are back again at the oppressively hot seat of Doña Ana County: Las Cruces, New Mexico. An Cruces economic hub, Mesilla Valley Mall is over 600,000 square feet in size and hosts 85 stores. On March 23, 2019, Joshua James LeNoir, 31, stabbed multiple people at the mall during a botched attempt at shoplifting from Dillard’s.
The police response was swift, but it took 23 Taser deployments and 15 beanbag shots to take LeNoir into custody. For insight into the response, listen to the police officer interview beginning at 7:30.
The following is a Real World Police summary… of a detective’s summary… of a recording… of an interview with a mall security guard:
The guard came out of the restroom and observed LeNoir with numerous pairs of jeans in his arms. When she sees someone like that she knows they may try to run, so she latched the exit doors to the parking lot. Soon after, a store manager locked another door, leaving only one door unlocked. She stood behind some pillows so LeNoir would not be able to see her.
When she saw LeNoir approach the exit doors she approached, and when he saw her she heard him say, “Oh fuck.” LeNoir turned back into the store at which time she alerted Dillard’s employees to lock their fitting rooms and then returned to her position near the west exit door.
LeNoir approached her with several pairs of jeans under his arm and told her, “I gave everything to them” and continued to the doors — which were locked. LeNoir said, “Ah, shit” and tried to open the locked doors without success.
She asked LeNoir if he was ready to pay and asked what he had under his arm. LeNoir replied, “I don’t have anything.” She told him that she had associates who could help him pay if he was willing. In response, LeNoir approached her and said, “Fuck you!” before punching her in the face.
She told LeNoir several times, “You don’t hit me like that… you don’t touch me!” LeNoir replied, “Why? Because you’re a little bitch!?” She told LeNoir that he couldn’t touch her, and LeNoir said, “Well then leave me alone, I already gave you your pair of jeans.”
At the time she was standing in front of the doors and LeNoir next told her to just let him out. She responded “You’ re not going anywhere, turn around and head the other way.” LeNoir retorted, “Fuck you,” and then punched her under her left breast — which she said “knocked the air out of her.”
LeNoir then dropped the jeans and began heading the other way as she yelled out for help. She stated that she again confronted LeNoir at which time she observed [X, a guard] grab LeNoir. The two went to the ground and began to wrestle.
She then saw LeNoir pull a knife from his pocket and she yelled out that he had a knife. She added that during the scuffle LeNoir’s shirt came off.
LeNoir said, “Let me out or I’m gonna stab you guys!” He yelled directly at her, “I’m gonna stab you, bitch!” LeNoir then ran into the mall toward the Verizon store where “Z” was, and she saw LeNoir stab Z.
She followed at a distance as LeNoir ran into and across the mall, heading south. When LeNoir saw that she was following on the phone he yelled at her, “You fucking snitch!” She subsequently heard someone scream that LeNoir had a gun, and she assured Dillard’s employees that police were on the way.
Outside, she observed LeNoir jump into someone’s vehicle. She saw that there was also a baby in the car. She heard someone yell out, “Get out!” And said that she [unknown who from this transcript] “grabbed the baby carriage and threw it out of the vehicle, and then yelled, “Come here!””
LeNoir was in the vehicle, but he couldn’t start it, so she yelled “Close the doors!” and mall security closed the car doors, trapping LeNoir inside. LeNoir then began to use his knife to strike at a car window, eventually shattering it. He exited and “took off” just as police began arriving.
This video picks up around that point.
Lenoir was charged with two 3rd-degree felony counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a 2nd-degree felony count of aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, multiple misdemeanor counts of battery, criminal damage to property and resisting, evading or obstructing.
This video shows multiple Taser Cam recordings of officers confronting LeNoir. (Taser Cam audio is… bad.) They are followed by audio of an interview with one of the responding officers. As that audio plays, the officer’s body camera video is shown silently on screen.
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