ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New court documents shed light on the recent shooting that happened Saturday morning on the University of New Mexico’s campus involving a student and New Mexico State University men’s basketball player, Michael Peake.
According to the documents, UNM students Brandon Travis, Jonathan Smith, and Eli, whose last name was not mentioned, wanted revenge on Peake after they got into a fight at the UNM – NMSU football game in October in Las Cruces.
The three told police they knew Peake would be in town for the basketball game against UNM. Court documents reveal they got their friend and fellow UNM student, 17-year-old Mya Hill, to agree to lure Peake to campus so they could jump him.
The affidavit says once Peake met up with Hill on campus, the three men approached Peake. Police say surveillance video from Coronado student housing shows Travis pointing a gun at Peake’s face, and one of the other men hitting Peake’s right leg with a bat. Surveillance video shows Peake running off and Travis shooting at him. That’s when Peake reached for his own gun and shot back, fatally hitting Travis. Police say Travis shot Peake in the leg before dying on the scene. Peake was taken to UNM Hospital.
After the shooting, Smith says he and Eli ran back to Coronado Hall and changed clothes. Smith told police he threw his phone under a car to avoid being tracked but he and Eli stayed around and blended into the crowd as police investigated the scene.
Smith is now facing charges of aggravated battery and tampering with evidence. He made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is trying to keep him behind bars until trial.
Hill, who police say lured Peake to campus, was booked into the juvenile detention center and is charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy. It is still unclear at this point if Eli will face any charges.
On Monday, some students told KRQE, the campus felt ‘off,’ as the community tried to make sense of the violent weekend.
“It just seems very bare and not as energetic and I think it’s because of the shooting, not because of break,” said Abigayl Garcia, a first-year student at UNM.
“Everyone’s aware and everyone’s like in shock and angry that it’s happened,” said Ana Rios, a fourth-year UNM student.
Students told KRQE some teachers cancelled classes because of the shooting. They also said safety is a concern on campus, including the enforcement of keeping guns off campus.
“I feel like a lot of students don’t feel safe on campus, especially on this side of town, unfortunately, and at night it gets really scary, like, I won’t go out of my dorm alone,” said Garcia.
“I feel like there are like no precautions for carrying on campus. So, I feel like it’s really easy to get away with that stuff,” said Avery Castro, a second-year student at UNM.
Guns are not allowed on campuses. But, UNM Police said they can’t pat down everyone they see. To enforce it, the gun has to be visible or in their presence for them to find it and confiscate it.
UNM President Garnett S. Stokes statement:
It is with great distress and sadness that I come to the Lobo community regarding an incident that occurred on our Albuquerque campus early this morning that resulted in the shooting death of a University of New Mexico student and injuries to another individual who was visiting campus. Law enforcement has needed to thoroughly process the scene and speak to potential witnesses before providing information to the community at large. I know the delayed communication has left room for much speculation and concern, which has caused considerable anxiety among many of our residents. On behalf of the University, I regret that we could not be more expedient in our transparency as events unfolded and the investigation progressed.
Here are the facts as we now know them: at approximately 3 a.m. on November 19, 2022, The University of New Mexico Police Department (UNMPD) and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) responded to a report of a shooting at 301 Girard NE. Upon arrival, APD officers learned that during an altercation involving a 19-year-old male UNM student and a 21-year-old male NMSU student. The 19-year-old male was fatally shot and pronounced deceased on scene. The 21-year-old male also sustained gunshot wounds and is in stable condition after being transported for medical treatment.
The entire Lobo community is shaken by this incident, and we mourn the death of one of our students and the injuries sustained by another individual. The impact of this experience is life-changing for so many and will extend far beyond expressions of grief and sense of loss—and far beyond the Lobo community. I cannot express how deeply saddened I am by this tragedy on so many levels.
We are providing support and resources to anyone in our community, especially our resident Lobos, impacted by this tragic and traumatic experience. The University of New Mexico’s Student Health and Counseling will operate emergency drop-in counseling tomorrow, November 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in three locations on campus including at Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), African American Student Services, and Student Resource Center Room 209. Immediate support is available via the SHAC/LoboRespect Advocacy after-hours crisis line which can be accessed by calling SHAC at 505-277-3136, selecting option 3, or calling LoboRespect at 505-277-2911. Using these resources, UNM students are always able to connect to care anytime. All members of the university community are likely to be processing these difficult events and these resources are available to all students whether directly impacted or not. Academic accommodations should first be coordinated with faculty. If students need assistance making academic accommodations, they may contact LoboRespect. Student Health and Counseling is grateful for UNM Hospital Department of Psychiatry and New Mexico Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Services Division for augmenting the emergency drop-in counseling services.
News of violence on and near university campuses has been front of mind on a national level, especially in recent weeks, and we must do everything in our power to provide a safe and secure environment for our Lobo community, especially for those who live on campus. We know that gun violence has become a national public health crisis. Both UNM policies and New Mexico state law clearly prohibit the carrying of guns and other weapons on our campuses. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that anyone, aside from those with authorized exceptions, found to be carrying weapons on campus is subject to appropriate disciplinary and criminal action.
While I understand the challenges that come with being an open campus in an urban environment, I refuse to believe that violence of any kind is an acceptable condition of university or city life. As someone who lives and works on this beautiful and unique campus, I think about the safety of our community every day, both physical and psychological. Being aware of one’s surroundings is sound advice at any time, but we should also feel safe at a place that we call home.Garnett S. Stokes, UNM President