Las Cruces Man Charged with Child Abuse Now Suspected in February Shooting

Jul 13, 2017

The man arrested July 2 and charged with two counts of child abuse after his girlfriend’s son was hospitalized with severe bruising, and what appeared to be a cigarette burn near his groin, is now suspected of shooting at another woman’s home in early February.

Tezcatlipoca “Tez” Soto, 19, of the 1000 block of west Hadley Avenue, now is charged with one count of shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, a fourth-degree felony.

Las Cruces Police investigators learned that Soto is responsible for the February shooting at an ex-girlfriend’s residence on the 6100 block of Pecan Lane. The residents called police Feb. 2 after they discovered evidence, consistent with gunshots, at the home. Officers determined that at least one gunshot penetrated the home’s living room and kitchen. No injuries were reported.

Investigators learned that Soto was angry with his ex-girlfriend because she was going to seek sole custody of their infant daughter. Investigators learned that Soto’s anger intensified when he saw a photo of his ex-girlfriend kissing another man who was holding their daughter.

Police believe Soto borrowed a firearm and had friends give him a ride to Pecan Lane on the night of Feb. 1. Soto is believed to have exited the vehicle and fired at least two gunshots toward the woman’s home. The residence was unoccupied at the time of the shooting.

Soto was arrested July 2 on two counts of child abuse after the 2-year-old son of his new girlfriend was hospitalized with severe bruising to his face, legs and groin area. In that case, investigators believe Soto was responsible for the injuries as he was babysitting the young child when the injuries occurred.

Soto was jailed on those charges July 2 but released July 6 on his own recognizance. Since then, LCPD investigators have gathered enough information to charge Soto with the February shooting. A warrant was issued for Soto’s arrest on July 12.

Soto was arrested on the shooting charge on the afternoon of Thursday, July 13. He is once again incarcerated with a no-bond hold at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Information from Las Cruces Police