Last update of the story: Sunday, November 20, 12:50 p.m
LAS CRUCES — A University of New Mexico student is dead and a New Mexico state student is recovering from gunshot wounds after an incident at the UNM campus early Saturday morning, causing a highly anticipated basketball game between the rival schools to be postponed was held later that day.
As of Sunday, more than 24 hours after filming, there are still more questions than answers. Here’s a look at what we know.
The New Mexico State Police is leading the investigation into the fatal shooting on the UNM campus. Although police released a statement Saturday afternoon stating that one person died in the shooting, relevant police records have not yet been made available.
In the statement, police said there was an altercation between a 19-year-old man and a 21-year-old man on campus around 3 a.m. Saturday. Both men suffered gunshot wounds.
The 19-year-old, who was later identified as a UNM student, was pronounced dead on the spot. His name was not published.
The 21-year-old who the Sun News has confirmed that Mike Peake, a forward for the NMSU basketball team, was taken to an Albuquerque hospital after the shooting.
UNM students speaking to the Sun News On Saturday night, they said they heard the shooting between 3:15 a.m. and 3:20 a.m. near a back entrance to the on-campus Coronado Hall dorm complex. Police arrived within 5 to 10 minutes, the students said.
That Albuquerque Journal later reported Saturday that the walls of the dorm “appeared to be pockmarked with multiple bullet holes and at least one window smashed in.”
No one had been charged in the shooting as of late Sunday morning, although police have said an investigation is ongoing.
Mike Peake shot
Peake, a 21-year-old junior, is the basketball team’s starting power.
A Chicago native, Peake spent most of his high school years in Kansas. The 6-foot-7, 218-pound forward played for Georgia and Austin Peay before joining NMSU for the 2021-22 season.
Peake is one of two returning players in this year’s Aggie Hoops roster. In the team’s first two games, he averaged 9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2 blocks in just over 20 minutes.
UNM-NMSU game postponed
The NMSU and UNM teams were scheduled to tip at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Pit in Albuquerque, but that game was postponed following news of the shooting.
In a series known as the Rio Grande Rivalry, the two basketball teams play each other twice a year, each on the other’s home court.
Last year, UNM defeated NMSU at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces while the Aggies defeated the Lobos in the last second at The Pit in Albuquerque.
At the first of two planned games this year, The Pit expected a nearly sold-out Saturday.
It’s not clear if the Albuquerque game will be rescheduled. For now, the teams are scheduled to play in Las Cruces on December 3rd.
NMSU’s next scheduled game is Friday, November 25, when the Aggies travel to Las Vegas, Nevada where they will face San Diego in the first game of the Las Vegas Invitational. NMSU would play between either California and Irvine or Nicholls State on November 26.
NMSU athletics department officials, including athletics director Mario Moccia and head basketball coach Greg Heiar, have said nothing publicly since the shooting and, when reached, have referred questions to the NMSU Chancellor’s office.
NMSU Chancellor Releases Statement
On Sunday, New Mexico State Chancellor Dan Arvizu addressed the university community about the shooting in a statement.
“We are aware that one of our student athletes is now in the hospital following an altercation on the UNM campus. We also know that another person lost their life following this altercation,” Arvizu wrote. “Any untimely death is a tragedy, but it’s particularly heartbreaking when it involves students and happens on a university campus. I spoke to UNM President Garnett Stokes and sent him my condolences and those of our entire NMSU community.”
In his letter, Arvizu encouraged the community not to jump to conclusions.
“I am confident that all relevant details will come out in a timely manner,” he wrote. “This information will then help inform our next steps as a university.”
Arvizu also shared that the university is cooperating with law enforcement.
The NMSU bus stopped
After the game was postponed, NMSU basketball players traveled back to Las Cruces from Albuquerque by bus.
State police stopped the bus at or near the Fort Craig rest area, about mile post 114 on Interstate 25 — halfway between the two cities.
The bus was “stopped as part of the ongoing investigation into the UNM murder. That bus has since been released,” state police spokesman Ray Wilson wrote in an email around 4 p.m. Saturday.
The diary State police reportedly did not arrest anyone who was on the bus.
Lucas Peerman is the news director of Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached at [email protected] and @LittleGuyInATie on twitter. Stephen Wagner is a sports reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be found on Twitter at @stephanwag22 and reachable at [email protected]