Police: Fentanyl theft led to shooting in Las Cruces, one arrest

Justin Garcia
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES - Police arrested a man who told detectives he shot another man for stealing his fentanyl. 

George Hernandez, 27, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm by a felon, and resisting arrest stemming from an alleged incident on Nov. 16. 

According to an affidavit signed by a Las Cruces Police Department detective, two patrol officers were conducting a traffic stop on 14th Street and Hadley Avenue when they heard two gunshots nearby. 

They followed the noise to the nearby 1800 block of West Picacho Avenue and pulled over a white Kia Sorrento. The patrol officers said that as soon as they pulled the car over, a man jumped out and ran. The patrol officers said that the man, later identified as Hernandez, carried a handgun. 

Once he left his car, Hernandez ducked behind another vehicle in a parking lot, police said. 

The brief standoff ended when Hernadez surrendered, the police said. The patrol officers then discovered Hernandez had a holster strapped to his hip with a full magazine but no gun, the affidavit said. 

The officers then searched the area and found a P17 handgun with an etched-off serial number, according to the affidavit. 

Just as the patrol officers were detaining Hernandez, they heard a 911 call over their dispatch system stating that a man had been shot at the Western Inn where the patrol officers said they first saw Hernandez's vehicle.  

Other police officers then discovered a man at the Western Inn who'd been shot in the stomach. A witness to the incident told police that they heard the two men arguing before hearing two loud gunshots. 

Multiple witnessed told police they saw something similar, according to the affidavit. 

After his arrest, Hernandez told police that earlier, he had gone to see a man he accused of stealing his fentanyl. Hernandez said that the man first pulled a gun on him, leading to a brief fight to control the weapon. When Hernandez ended up with the gun, he said he shot the man twice then fled. 

Hernandez is currently being held in jail. 

Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached at or on Twitter @Just516garc.

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