American Airlines Co-Pilot Dies After Medical Emergency on New Mexico-Bound Flight

Jay Blackman and Erik Ortiz
An American Airlines pilot died just before landing a plane in New Mexico

An American Airlines co-pilot died after suffering a medical emergency just before landing at an Albuquerque, New Mexico, airport Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

American Airlines Flight 1353 landed safely after leaving Dallas and was met at the gate by medical personnel, according to Albuquerque International Sunport spokesman Dan Jiron.

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The airline identified the pilot as First Officer William "Mike" Grubbs.

"We are taking care of First Officer Grubbs' family and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time," the airline said in a statement to NBC News Thursday.

Officials did not detail what happened to Grubbs, but the captain radioed for help prior to the Boeing 737-800's landing at around 3:45 p.m. local time. In the call, the captain told the tower: "We've got an issue with one of the pilots."

It's unclear when Grubbs was declared dead, and there was no immediate cause of death. Jiron said a medical investigator was called to the airport about an hour and a half after the flight landed.