LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University has awarded a posthumous degree to a Hatch police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
The degree was awarded to the family of Officer Jose Chavez during the university's fall commencement ceremony in Las Cruces.
Chavez died Aug. 12 after being shot during a traffic stop.
University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said during the commencement that Chavez was a dedicated student and gave his life serving the community.
Chavez was somebody his colleagues say embodied an American success story. The 33-year-old officer was a first-generation college student who had always dreamed of serving his community as a police officer.
At the time of his death, he was studying criminal justice and had nearly completed his degree. Chavez had just registered for his last semester of classes just days before he was killed.