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Mon April 2, 2012
Suspect Charged With Murder In Las Cruces Shooting
The 21-year-old suspected of killing one man and wounding another in Monday’s early-morning shooting on south Valley Drive has been charged with murder. Jeremy Martinez, of 6015 Sunny Lane south of Las Cruces, is charged with an open count of murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, and shooting at or from a motor vehicle. He is being held without bond at the Dona Ana County DetentionCenter.
Shortly after 12 a.m. Monday, April 2, Las Cruces Police were called to a report of a man with a gun on south Valley Drive near University Avenue. Police arrived and found Michael Hahn, 19, on the roadway where he was struck by at least one fatal round.
Another victim, 19-year-old Policarpio Padilla, was also shot but managed to run toward a nearby hotel where he collapsed. Padilla was airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso with what are possibly life-threatening injuries.
Detectives learned that prior to the shooting Hahn drove Padilla, 18-year-olds James Blankenship and Eliot Birkman, and a 17-year-old girl in his Chevrolet Impala to Martinez’s home on Sunny Lane where Blankenship threw a cinder block through the rear window of Martinez’s Volkswagen Jetta. Martinez, who was inside his home at the time, heard the glass break and armed himself with a 9 mm handgun. He got into his Jetta and started chasing the Impala. Police learned that Martinez began firing at the Impala as the two vehicles headed north on Las Alturas and eventually west onUniversity Avenue.
When Hahn turned north onto Valley Drive his Impala spun-out in the middle of the roadway. Hahn reversed his vehicle into a grassy embankment in front of the Ramada Palms hotel and the five occupants exited and started running. Martinezparked nearby and fired at least one round that struck Padilla who ran toward the Ramada Palms hotel.
Martinez and Hahn then got into a physical struggle that ended with Martinez firing the fatal shot. Blankenship subsequently took Martinez to the ground and held him until police arrived. Detectives learned that Hahn was upset with Martinez because of a previous domestic-related incident involving Martinez and a friend of Hahn’s.