UNM student killed, NMSU basketball player injured in shootout on UNM campus - Albuquerque Journal

UNM student killed, NMSU basketball player injured in shootout on UNM campus

A gunfight between a University of New Mexico student and a New Mexico State University basketball player early Saturday morning ended with the student dead and the player wounded outside a dormitory on the UNM main campus in Albuquerque.

The Journal confirmed that the injured Aggie player is 21-year-old junior forward Mike Peake, who was taken to a hospital and said to be in stable condition.

The 19-year-old UNM student was pronounced dead at the scene and has not been identified.

The NMSU Aggies-UNM Lobos men’s basketball rivalry game scheduled for Saturday evening has been postponed indefinitely. A paper sign on the doors of the Pit, where school officials said they expected a crowd of around 15,000 fans, announced the cancellation.

Throughout the day, police combed the parking lot outside Coronado Hall dormitory, on the east side of campus, where gunfire erupted around 3 a.m.

By Saturday evening the area was quiet and only remnants of the incident remained. The walls appeared to be pockmarked with several bullet holes and at least one window appeared to be struck. A large dark stain drifted from the sidewalk into the lot.

Authorities are looking into whether other people were present when the shooting started and a Lobo Alert email sent out to the campus community around 4:20 a.m. indicated police were “actively searching for two individuals who fled the area heading east wearing all black clothing.”

It has not been clarified whether police believe they know who those two individuals are, but immediately after the incident, authorities made clear they did not consider an active shooter remained on the loose.

The subsequent homicide investigation by New Mexico State Police led officers to stop the Aggies team bus on Interstate 25 Saturday afternoon as it headed back to Las Cruces.

State Police spokesman Officer Ray Wilson said the bus was stopped at the Fort Craig rest area “as part of the ongoing investigation into the homicide at UNM.”

He said the bus was released soon after without anyone being detained.

Nobody has been charged in the incident and details were slim Saturday evening, including how many guns, if any, were recovered.

UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair said she could not recall another homicide on campus over the past two decades.

“The impact of this experience is life-changing for so many and will extend far beyond expressions of grief and sense of loss—and far beyond the Lobo community,” UNM President Garnett Stokes said in a statement Saturday. “I cannot express how deeply saddened I am by this tragedy on so many levels.”

Stokes said despite challenges posed by being an open campus in an urban environment, she refuses to “believe that violence of any kind is an acceptable condition of university or city life.”

“Being aware of one’s surroundings is sound advice at any time, but we should also feel safe at a place that we call home,” she said.

Wilson, the State Police spokesman, said the investigation is in the very preliminary stages as investigators process the evidence and identify witnesses “to learn what led up to the shooting.”

UNM’s Athletic Department sent out the following statement midday Saturday, announcing the postponement of the highly-anticipated game:

“In light of the tragic incident earlier this morning on the University of New Mexico campus, the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University have jointly decided to postpone this evening’s men’s basketball contest between the schools.

“Details regarding a potential rescheduled contest and information on refunds will be forthcoming.

“Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by this tragedy.”

Saturday night’s game was expected to be a near-sellout with around 15,000 fans in attendance, a UNM official confirmed. The Lobos (3-0) were to take on their in-state rival the Aggies (1-1) in a highly anticipated matchup.

Whether the game will be rescheduled or not, as well as the status of the scheduled Dec. 3 game in Las Cruces between the two teams, remain in doubt.

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