Two teens arrested in fatal I-25 shooting
LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State Police arrested two teenage boys Saturday after the shooting death of a third boy last week.
A spokesperson for NMSP said police arrested Daniel Ortiz, 16, and Drake Armendariz, 16, earlier this week. NMSP believes Ortiz and Armendariz killed 17-year-old Benjamin Rios Archuleta on March 3 near Doña Ana on Interstate 25.
A Las Cruces Public Schools spokesperson confirmed that Archuleta enrolled in Las Cruces High School but dropped out before the shooting. The enrollment status of the two boys arrested was not readily available.
Ortiz and Armendariz were charged with murder in the first degree, conspiracy to commit murder and shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily injury.
They're also charged with conspiracy to commit shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily injury, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, and conspiracy to commit assault with intent to commit a violent felony.
NMSP said Ortiz and Armendariz followed Archuleta and an unidentified passenger after Archuleta stopped for gas in Doña Ana shortly after 9 p.m.
Archuleta merged onto the freeway after gassing up. There, police say Ortiz and Armendariz fired a shot that struck Archuleta.
Archuleta was later transported to a local hospital, where he died.
According to the news release, police arrested Ortiz on March 7 and Armendariz on March 9. Police believe Ortiz drove while Armendariz fired the fatal shot.
Justin Garcia covers crime, courts and public safety. He can be reached via email at JEGarcia@lcsun-news.com.
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