OTERO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) –News 13 is learning more about a deadly shooting that left a New Mexico town heartbroken. Wednesday morning, a man walked into a local convenience store in Weed, New Mexico and shot at an employee, killing her. The suspect has since been arrested.
According to court documents, the suspect shot 34-year-old Laura McCormick two times. News 13 spoke to the victim’s family who said the news was devastating. “It’s incomprehensible to try and figure out why something that seems so evil and unnecessary to really lovely people,” said Susan Sweeney, McCormick’s aunt.
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Police records say surveillance video showed 52-year-old Joseph Sanders pulling up to a gas station and general store called The Weed Store Wednesday morning. He walked inside where McCormick was working, told her “Good morning,” got coffee, taled with another customer, and even struck up a conversation with McCormick.
The nearby Mayhill Store posted images from The Weed Store’s security cameras that morning. Police say on that video, McCormick can be heard telling Sanders to go pump his gas so she can ring him up. Sanders walked in and out of the store a couple of times, then returned to the counter and pulled out a gun. There was a scuffle before police said the video showed Sanders shooting McCormick two times, then fleeing.
Mccormick’s family said this tragedy has rippled through their tight-knit community. “These communities they’re not tied together formally but they’re tied together and it’s like you cut off a big chunk out of the heart of the community,” said Sweeney.
Sanders was later arrested by New Mexico State Police about five miles away from the store. News 13 reached out to the Otero Sheriff’s Office who said Sanders is being held at the Otero County Detention Center. He’s charged with murder.
According to The Weed Store’s Facebook page, a vigil in McCormick’s honor is scheduled for Sunday at six p.m. and it’s open to the public.