Updated: Sunday, 07 Feb 2010, 3:32 PM MST
Published : Sunday, 07 Feb 2010, 3:33 PM MST
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - Twenty years ago, several people died in a bowling alley in Las Cruces. Two men walked in and shot seven people, including four children during a "robbery in progress."
Three people died instantly, one died on the way to a hospital and two survived.
The case has never been solved.
On Feb. 10, the 20th anniversary of the massacre, a film is being released in Las Cruces and in Albuquerque about the event. Six people from Alamogordo took part in the making of "A Nightmare in Las Cruces."
Filmmaker Charlie Minn had the goal of giving life to the victims of the shooting for his audience.
"I wanted to humanize the victims," Minn said. "What happened that morning is too important to forget. I am trying to re-create the horror in the office."
One of the goals of the film, Minn said, is to get people thinking again, hopefully to jar some memories and perhaps get some leads into solving the crime.
Detective Mark Myers with the Las Cruces Criminal Investigation Division took over the case in 2002.
"We've followed a lot of leads in that time," Myers said. "It's pretty frustrating. That's why we embrace Charlie's effort. There is probably somebody who knows something somewhere."
Myers said there are still leads being investigated, but they are not yielding much in terms of results.
"We're hoping the people with pieces of the puzzle finally come out," Myers said.
Minn said he saw the original event re-enacted on "Unsolved Mysteries," 19 years ago and it has stayed with him ever since. When he was ready to search for a big personal project, he came back to it.
"To this day, it just haunts me," he said.
It was the 911 call that made Minn want to work on the project.
One of the victims who survived, 15-year-old Melissa Repass, reached the phone, despite being shot five times, and made the call.
The film itself revolves around the call, playing portions of it throughout as it progresses through the day of the massacre through the following investigation, Minn said.
Alamogordo casting director Richard Gill provided Minn with some of the talent he was able to use.
Wayno Sanchez, of Alamogordo, plays Steven Teran, who arrived at work that morning at the bowling alley with his two little girls in tow. All three died.
"I didn't know what I was getting into," Sanchez said. "You hear things like that. No one should have anything like that happen to them."
Playing one of the gunmen, Alamogrodo's Presciliano Ancira said the role was difficult.
"After hearing the 911 call, it was probably the hardest role I ever had to play," Ancira said. "Probably because it was real. I had to put a gun to a 2-year-old's head."
Ancira said he hopes the film is doing something worthwhile for the victims' families.
With long hours and emotional, difficult material to work with, Minn said everyone in the cast and crew did a great job.
"They became very involved," he said. "I just hope after this film someone will come forward. I hope to see a lot of scum bags at the theater."
The movie is not only about what happened 20 years ago, Minn said.
"Its about hope, recovery and being tough," he said.
Minn will be leading a discussion about the bowling alley massacre at 6 p.m. Monday at Barnes and Noble, 700 S. Telshor Blvd. in Las Cruces. The public is welcome.
"A Nightmare in Las Cruces" opens in Las Cruces at the Cineport 10 on Feb. 10 and in Albuquerque at the Guild Cinema, where it will play on Feb. 10-11, at 9:15 p.m.
Information from: Alamogordo Daily News