NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police have arrested a homicide suspect and his father. In a news release, NMSP report that Brandon Mendoza and his father James Mendoza were arrested Tuesday, Dec. 21 around 5 p.m. at a residence off New Mexico Highway 337 in Tijeras.
Authorities state that on Dec. 19, 2021, the NMSP Investigations Bureau was requested by the Bosque Farms Police Department to investigate a shooting in Peralta. Agents discovered that around 12:19 p.m., BFD was called to a residence regarding a report of shots fired and a vehicle crash.
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Officer arrived at the residence and located a silver pickup truck that had crashed into a tree and a deceased female victim who was lying on the ground next to the vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound. NMSP reports that through an investigation and interviews, officers learned that the suspect, 22-year-old Brandon Mendoza and his sister, 19-year-old Vanessa Mendoza of Albuquerque drove to the residence.
Brandon is accused of firing a weapon at the victim, 29-year-old Rodlyn Pierce of Valencia County who died at the scene. After the shooting NMSP agents learned that Brandon and Vanessa allegedly fled the scene in a white Toyota Corolla towards Albuquerque.
Authorities later found and seized the vehicle at the home of 45-year-old Maria Carter and Vanessa Mendoza. On Dec. 21, Vanessa Mendoza and Maria Carter were charged with conspiracy and tampering with evidence and have since been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.
An arrest warrant charged Brandon Mendoza with murder in the first degree and tampering with evidence. According to NMSP, James Mendoza was wanted on charges unrelated to the homicide as he had outstanding warrants for felon in possession of a firearm, battery on a household member, and resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer.
NMSP previously identified James Mendoza as a person of interest in the homicide investigation. Brandon and James Mendoza have since been booked into MDC.