Man Who Carried Gun On School Grounds In Las Cruces Arrested

Las Cruces – Paul Valenzuela, the man who carried a firearm into the parking lot of an area elementary school last week and used it to threaten his ex-girlfriend, was arrested this afternoon.

Valenzuela, 32, turned himself in at the Las Cruces Police Department early this afternoon. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful carrying of a firearm on school premises and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police learned that shortly after classes ended for the day on Thursday, Sept. 1, Valenzuela approached his ex-girlfriend in the school's parking lot as she picked up her children. Valenzuela began arguing with the woman and revealed a handgun in the waistband of his pants.

The woman tried to de-escalate the argument and, along with her children, started walking back into the school in the hopes that Valenzuela would leave. Instead, Valenzuela pulled out the handgun and pointed it at the woman.

The woman's children ran into the school building and, shortly thereafter, Valenzuela fled the area on foot. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Valenzuela is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $25,000.