UPDATE: 19-Year-Old Man Charged In Las Cruces Murder
A 19-year-old man suspected in Saturday evening’s fatal shooting on south Stern Drive has been arrested and charged with murder. Andre Michael Perez, 19, of 5300 Stern Drive, is charged with an open count of murder.
At around 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, officers were dispatched to the De La Te Manor at 5300 Stern Drive where they found 30-year-old David Vallejos dead from what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
Las Cruces Police detectives learned that Perez was outside his home late Saturday afternoon, working on his car. At some point Vallejos, who was at a mobile home across the street, began complaining because Perez was not wearing a shirt.
Detectives learned that Perez and Vallejos exchanged words before Perez entered his home, loaded a 12-guage shotgun and placed it near the front door. Perez then went back outside and removed his shorts which further agitated Vallejos.
Witnesses told detectives that Vallejos then approached Perez who had armed himself with an expandable baton. The two began fighting and Vallejos overpowered Perez, striking and bloodying the younger man’s face.
Perez lost consciousness for a moment and, when he came to, retrieved the shotgun. The two men closed distance on each other when Perez fired one round from around 10 to 15 away from Vallejos. The round struck Vallejos’ torso causing him to drop to his knees. Perez then fired one more round that also struck Vallejos’ torso.
Witnesses called 911 and ensured that Perez did not leave the scene. Vallejos was pronounced dead at the scene. Perez was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $500,000.