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Police: Victim asked friend to shoot him in the head

A man fatally shot at a New Year’s Eve party in Rio Rancho allegedly told a second man to fire the fatal shot and provided assurances that the pistol was unloaded, police wrote in a criminal complaint.

Carlos Rueda, 22, died Wednesday at University of New Mexico Hospital from a single gunshot wound to his forehead, Rio Rancho police wrote in a complaint.

Police have arrested Ryan Wathen, 20, on a charge of second-degree murder in Rueda’s death, according to the complaint filed in Sandoval County Magistrate Court.

A 911 caller reported that Rueda, an employee of Rio Rancho Archery and Armory, was shot about 10:30 p.m. in the bedroom of a house in the 1600 block of Evelyn Drive NE in Rio Rancho.

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The house contained multiple firearms and an estimated 10 to 15 people at the time of the shooting, the caller told police. Witnesses said they saw Wathen exit the house after the shooting.

Wathen later told family member that he did not intentionally shoot Rueda, police wrote in the complaint.

Instead, Rueda asked Wathen to pick up a pistol that was lying next to a computer in the bedroom, the complaint said.

Rueda allegedly gave Wathen assurances that the pistol was unloaded and said, “don’t you trust me?” police wrote in the complaint.

Rueda told Wathen to point the pistol at Rueda’s head and pull the trigger, the complaint said.

After the gun discharged, Wathen dropped the pistol and ran from the house because he was scared, it states.

Wathen remained in custody Thursday at the Sandoval County Detention Center.

Rio Rancho Archery and Armory posted a comment Wednesday on its Facebook page mourning Rueda’s death.

“We are saddened with the news that one of our very own was taken from us way too early,” the post reads. “Carlos Rueda passed away early this morning, he was full of life and radiated love and positive energy to everyone he encountered. He will be missed. Beginning tomorrow we will be taking any donations to help his family in their time of loss.”

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