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Police have arrested two 16-year-old boys in the shooting death of another teenager on Interstate 25 outside of Las Cruces about a week ago.
New Mexico State Police spokesman Wilson Silver on Saturday said Daniel Ortiz and Drake Armendariz are each charged with first-degree murder in the March 3 killing of 17-year-old Benjamin Archuleta.
Ortiz and Armendariz also face shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily injury, assault with intent to commit a violent felony and multiple conspiracy charges.
According to State Police, which responded to the incident around 9 p.m., Archuleta and a passenger briefly stopped at a gas station in Doña Ana and when they left they were followed by a Honda sedan onto southbound I-25.
“While on the interstate at least one occupant from the other vehicle shot a firearm at Archuleta’s vehicle,” State Police said. “The Honda sedan then fled the area.”
Archuleta, who was struck by gunfire, was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
State Police identified Ortiz as the driver of the Honda and Armendariz as the “passenger/shooter.”
The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that Archuleta was enrolled at Las Cruces High School but had dropped out before the shooting occurred. The newspaper added that the enrollment status of Armendariz and Ortiz wasn’t readily available.
Ortiz was arrested Tuesday; Armendariz on Thursday, according to State Police.