What led to a shootout between students at rival schools UNM and NMSU Saturday? - Albuquerque Journal

What led to a shootout between students at rival schools UNM and NMSU Saturday?

Rhonda Newby-Torres, the pastor at University of New Mexico’s Luther House, holds red ribbons Sunday at a memorial for Brandon Travis, 19, a UNM student who was fatally shot at UNM early Saturday morning. Counseling support and services were available to UNM students at various locations across campus Sunday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

A University of New Mexico student conspired with three other students to lure a New Mexico State University basketball player onto campus Saturday, leading to a shootout that left the UNM student dead and the basketball player wounded, New Mexico State Police said Sunday.

Brandon Travis, a 19-year-old UNM student, was killed and Mike Peake, a New Mexico State University basketball player, was injured in a shooting on UNM’s campus at around 3 a.m. on Saturday. UNM and NMSU postponed their rivalry basketball game because of the shooting.

There were three scenes marked off with crime tape around the roundabout on Redondo just north of Johnson Field on Sunday.

New Mexico State Police said an altercation between Travis and an NMSU student led to the shooting. The Journal confirmed the NMSU student was Peake, a junior forward for NMSU’s men’s basketball team.

According to a news release from New Mexico State Police, Travis plotted with three other UNM students — a 17-year-old girl and two males — to lure the basketball player to the campus “and assault him.”

University of New Mexico students stop to pay their respects at a memorial for 19-year-old Brandon Travis, a UNM student fatally shot on campus early Saturday morning. A New Mexico State University men’s basketball player was wounded in the shooting. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

“Once at the campus, Travis, armed with a firearm, confronted and shot the victim. The victim, who also had a firearm, shot Travis,” State Police said.

Peake was taken to a local hospital following the shooting, the Journal confirmed Saturday.

The girl and the two males fled after the shooting, police said Sunday. The female was later arrested and booked into the juvenile detention center on suspicion of aggravated battery and conspiracy, according to police.

“The other two males have been identified by State Police,” the news release states. “Agents are working with the district attorney to determine what, if any, charges they face. State Police does not identify victims or those not yet charged with a crime.”

Police didn’t identify the three individuals on Sunday.

Rhonda Newby-Torres, the pastor at Luther House on campus, set up a memorial and handed out roses to students near Alvarado Hall, which was where the shooting happened. There was crime scene tape around the entrance at Casas del Rio and on the sidewalk and at a nearby parking lot on Sunday evening.

“There are young adults with a lot of pain and a lot of fear, and folks are looking for someone to talk to,” Newby-Torres said. “They are feeling scared. … They need to know that they are loved and cared for.”

Isabl Roddy, a UNM freshman, was one of the students who took a rose from Newby-Torres. She said the campus was somber and quiet throughout the weekend because of the shooting.

“It was definitely really scary. It definitely made me nervous to come” to campus, she said. “When I did come back, it was really eerie. It was really quiet and it seemed like everybody was in shock about it.”

“Words cannot describe the heartbreak and dismay the UNM family is feeling over the emerging information concerning the incident this weekend. These ill-fated events have led to great loss and sorrow for many,” Cinnamon Blair, a UNM spokeswoman, said Sunday. “The UNM administration has followed the investigation closely and is grateful for the work of the State Police, and the support provided to them by the UNM Police Department and APD. Most of all, we are grateful for the strength of the entire Lobo community.”

Saturday night’s game between the Lobos (3-0) and their in-state Aggie rivals (1-1) was a highly anticipated matchup.

It has not yet been determined if Saturday’s postponed rivalry game in the Pit will be rescheduled. Aside from logistics of finding dates available for both teams to play, UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nunez acknowledged university leadership from both schools will be consulted about whether it is practical, or safe, to reschedule the game this season.

He said a decision could be made as early as Monday.

For now, the Dec. 3 rivalry game to be played in the Pan American Center in Las Cruces is still scheduled.

Meanwhile, neither NMSU Athletic Director Mario Moccia nor NMSU head men’s basketball coach Greg Heiar have made any public comments since the incident and the school on Sunday announced Heiar’s normally-scheduled Monday news conference has been cancelled.

It remains unclear when either will talk to the media again.

The Aggies’ next scheduled game is Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada, against the University of San Diego in the Las Vegas Invitational. UNM is scheduled to play Jacksonville State University Friday in Albuquerque.

Journal Staff Writer Geoff Grammer contributed to this report.

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