Deadly shootout on UNM campus: Timeline of events

Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

New Mexico State Police have started to release documents and surveillance video surrounding a Nov. 19 shootout in Albuquerque between two college students — UNM student Brandon Travis and NMSU basketball player Mike Peake. Travis shot at Peake and Peake fired back, killing Travis, police believe. Peake was shot in the leg and hospitalized. He has been suspended from the team indefinitely, but has not been charged with a crime.

Peake and the NMSU basketball team were in Albuquerque to play a game against the UNM Lobos, the afternoon of Nov. 19. That game, and a Dec. 3 game between the rival schools scheduled in Las Cruces, were canceled in the aftermath of the shooting.

The NMSU basketball team traveled to Albuquerque on Nov. 18. Police believe UNM student Mya Hill, 17, "lured" Peake to campus that night. Hill was friends with Travis and police believe a group of UNM students conspired to jump Peake once he was on campus in retaliation for a brawl a month earlier during the NMSU-UNM football game in Las Cruces.

Peake snuck out of the hotel where the basketball team was staying to meet Hill in the early morning hours of Nov. 19, police believe. About 3 a.m., surveillance video shows Peake and Hill walking nearby a dormitory on campus. The camera also shows three men — later identified as UNM students Travis, Jonathan Smith and Eli'sha Upshaw — sneaking up behind Peake and then confronting him. One of the men hits Peake with a baseball bat. Peake starts running and Travis fires a gun at him. Peake uses his own firearm to shoot back at Travis.

New Mexico State Police assists APD officers in investigating a deadly overnight shooting at Coronado Hall Dorms on the University of New Mexico campus, Saturday Nov. 19, 2022, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Hill and Smith have been charged with multiple felonies. Upshaw has not been charged. State Police conducted an interview with Upshaw on campus after the shooting and then transported him to a police station. There, police seized his phone and Upshaw refused a second interview, according to court documents.

Following the shootout, Peake contacted NMSU basketball players Issa Muhammad, Marchelus Avery and Anthony Roy, who arrive on campus in a Chevrolet Camaro, footage from a surveillance camera on campus shows. The teammates take possession of Peake's gun and tablet and the car drives off before police arrive. Muhammad, Avery and Roy would be suspended for one game each during the team's current three-game road trip. None of the players have been charged with a crime, and all have reportedly hired attorneys. A woman who was driving the Camaro has been identified in police reports. She has also not been charged.

New Mexico State Police are leading the investigation. A spokesperson from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney's Office, which is in Bernalillo County, told the Albuquerque Journal that DA's office "is actively working with the New Mexico State Police to investigate the conduct of the New Mexico State University staff and players.”

Here's a timeline of what we know from documents and video that have been released publicly.

Oct. 15

The fight

During the NMSU-UNM football game, a large brawl breaks out on the concourse of Aggie Memorial Stadium. Video of the fight is uploaded to social media.

The video shows NMSU basketball players Peake and Avery taking part in the brawl. Travis is on the opposite side of the scrum, his friends will later tell police.

At one point, Travis falls to the ground and Upshaw says he helped him back to his feet.

The fight proved to be the start of events that resulted in the tragic shooting a month later in Albuquerque.

Nov. 18

The NM State men's basketball team departs for Albuquerque for a game the following day against New Mexico via bus. Peake travels to Albuquerque in possession of a firearm.

Nov. 19

The setup

Late night/early morning hours: Travis is in his dorm room with other UNM students, including Hill, who had been in contact with Peake "for awhile," as well as Smith and Upshaw. Hill had intended to meet Peake to have sex, but Travis, upon hearing that Hill was talking to Peake, convinced her to set up Peake so that Travis and his friends could jump him as revenge for the fight at the football game. The plan was for Hill to walk with Peake until Travis, Smith and Upshaw "rolled up" and Hill was to run away.

12 a.m.: NMSU basketball men's basketball assistant coach Dominique Taylor and other Aggies coaches conduct room checks at the DoubleTree Hotel and all players are in their rooms.

Approximately 1:15 to 1:20 a.m.: Taylor sees Aggies players Peake and Xavier Pinson and William Benjamin walk into the hotel. Taylor points in the direction of the elevators, but does not have a conversation with them.

1:36 a.m.: Peake orders a Lyft ride and it's scheduled to arrive at his destination on the UNM campus at 1:51 a.m.

The attack

Approximately 3:14 a.m.: Peake is seen on video surveillance walking with Hill outside of the Coronado Complex on the UNM campus. Three men approach the two from behind near the entrance to the dormitory. Travis points a gun at Peake's face. One of the other students hits Peake in the leg with a baseball bat. Smith will later tell police that Upshaw is the one with the bat. After briefly falling to the ground, Peake gets up and starts to run. Travis fires his gun at Peake "several times." Peake pulls a firearm from his waist, a Smith & Wesson SD40 VE, and fires back, hitting Travis four times, twice in the chest, once in the scrotum and once in the arm. An autopsy will later reveal a shot to the left chest is what kills Travis. Peake is shot in the left leg in the exchange.

Upshaw and Smith flee and will later tell investigators their versions of what happened next. Smith dials 911 following the shooting and throws his phone underneath a car. Upshaw breaks a window and they enter Coronado Hall and change their clothes in Upshaw's room. The two get in Smith's car, retrieve his phone, and throw their clothes in a sewer drain near Lobo Village. Smith and Upshaw make their way back to the scene of the shooting and are in a crowd watching as police attempt to help Travis, who would eventually succumb to his injuries on site.

Peake is seen on video retrieving a tablet as he hops on one leg away from the scene. Before police arrive and Peake is transported to UNM Hospital, video surveillance shows a yellow Chevrolet Camaro pulling up to Peake on the UNM campus after the incident. Peake meets with teammates Muhammad, Roy and Avery and his gun and a tablet are placed in the trunk and the Camaro drives off. A woman is driving, according to police reports.

Police arrive on campus about 3:22 a.m. and attend to Peake and Travis.

Early stages of investigation

9:47 a.m.: New Mexico State Police investigator David Esquibel makes initial contact with NMSU men's basketball head coach Greg Heiar at the DoubleTree Hotel in Albuquerque. Heiar said NMSU Athletics Director Mario Moccia has informed him of the incident and there was already talk of cancelling the game. Heiar confirms that Peake is an Aggie basketball player. Heiar tells Esquibel the team traveled to Albuquerque in a bus and doesn't know who the Camaro belongs to. Esquibel tells Heiar they believe Peake placed his gun and other items in the trunk of the Camaro. Esquibel asks to speak with Muhammad, Roy and Avery and Heiar says he will need to check with the AD to see if the players need attorneys and he would let police know. According to publicly available court and police documents, It's the last time investigators talk to Heiar until State Police issue search warrants and ask to speak with Avery, Roy and Muhammad, at Heiar's office the morning of Nov. 30, hours before the Aggies were set to play the University of Texas-El Paso in Las Cruces.

10:03 a.m.: Esquibel interviews Taylor, who said he had five missed calls from Muhammad, 11 missed calls from Roy, as well as missed calls from Heiar on his cell phone. He was finally woken up by Heiar calling his hotel phone. Taylor tells Esquibel that coaches went to the hospital to try to check on Peake, but they weren't able to see him. Taylor tells police that he doesn't know who drives the Camaro. Esquibel tells Taylor that Peake placed items in the Camaro and ask if he knows whether the items, including the gun, are still in the Camaro or in the team hotel. Taylor tells Esquibel he will let them know if he finds out where those items are located.

10:27 a.m.: In a phone call with Esquibel, Taylor says Heiar is in contact with Moccia to determine if Muhammad, Roy and Avery needed legal representation before speaking with police.

Approximately 10:38 a.m.: Esquibel's phone call to Heiar goes to voicemail. Esquibel does reach Taylor, who tells him that a tablet was among the items that Peake placed in the trunk of the Camaro. Taylor says some players are issued tablets.

Securing the three items

Approximately 11:25 a.m.: From outside of the team hotel, Esquibel's calls to Heiar and Taylor go to voicemail and he leaves messages regarding the status of interviews with Muhammad, Roy and Avery. Esquibel observes some players getting on a team bus.

11:51 a.m.: The University of New Mexico basketball team tweets that the rivalry game, scheduled for 5 p.m., has been postponed.

Approximately 12:27 p.m.: NMSU associate AD Braun Cartwright contacts Esquibel and says Heiar has been busy with the team. Esquibel tells Cartwright that Peake has been cooperating and that Peake told investigators that he gave the gun and tablet to Muhammad and Roy. Esquibel says he was about to enter the hotel to retrieve items, including the gun, but the team bus left. Cartwright tells Esquibel the bus is headed back to Las Cruces and he will make some calls to locate where the tablet and gun are located.

Approximately 12:36 p.m.: Esquibel's call to Heiar is unanswered and a call to Taylor's phone is answered, but quickly hangs up, Police begin traveling south on Interstate 25 to reach the team bus.

Approximately 1-1:30 p.m.: With coordination from Cartwright and NMSU Police, the team bus pulls off at the Fort Craig rest stop, near Mile Marker 114 on I-25, about the halfway point between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.

1:42 p.m.: State Police arrive at the rest stop and meet with NMSU assistant coach Lorenzo Jenkins, who turns over Peake's tablet. Jenkins tells police he doesn't know where Peake's phone is located. Jenkins tells police that Muhammad, Taylor and Avery notified Cartwright that they wanted to speak with an attorney.

Approximately 2 p.m.: NMSU Police alert State Police investigators that Taylor is in possession of Peake's gun at the team hotel in Albuquerque.

Approximately 3:44 p.m.: Police meet Taylor on the third floor of the DoubleTree Hotel in Albuquerque. Peake's gun is wrapped in a towel. Taylor explained that Muhammad, Avery and Anthony told Heiar where the firearm was located and Heiar then called Taylor and told him the location of the firearm and to go get it. Taylor showed police where he retrieved the gun, which was a room on the second floor.

5:39 p.m.: State Police retrieve Peake's cell phone at NMSU administrator Ed Posaski's home in Las Cruces. Posaski tells police, "I’m happy just to pass the phone along. Get it out of my possession."

After Nov. 19

Notable happenings after the day of the shooting. This will be periodically updated.

Nov. 20: New Mexico State Police publicly release Brandon Travis' name and some details of the shooting, including the arrest of 17-year-old girl, later identified as Mya Hill.

Nov. 21: Jonathan Smith is arrested and charged.

Nov. 21: NMSU provides a Q&A to media.

Nov. 22: UNM and NMSU announce the Rio Grande Rivalry men's basketball series is being cancelled in 2022.

Nov. 23: NMSU administrators — Chancellor Dan Arvizu, Dean of Students Ann Goodman and Athletics Director Mario Moccia — hold a news conference.

Nov. 25 and 26: The NMSU basketball team plays its first games since the shooting. All players travel to Las Vegas, Nevada and head coach Greg Heiar goes with a normal rotation for the team's games against San Diego and UC Irvine.

Nov. 29: Heiar speaks to media for the first time since the shooting.

Nov. 30: NMSU plays its first home game since the shooting, hosting rival UTEP. Fans entering the stadium must go through metal detectors, the first time they are used before a men's basketball game.

Dec. 5: NMSU announces Mike Peake has been suspended from the team indefinitely.

Dec. 5: NMSU is host to Simon Fraser, a makeup game since the Dec. 3 game against UNM was cancelled. Fans entering the stadium do not have to go through metal detectors. During the game, KOAT publishes a story noting Muhammad, Avery and Roy's involvement in the Nov. 19 incident.

Dec. 6-9: State Police begin releasing documents and videos to media outlets. Not all information is released to media outlets at the same time.

Dec. 6: NMSU announces it has hired an outside firm to investigate Albuquerque shooting case

Dec. 7: NMSU announces Issa Muhammad, Marchelus Avery and Anthony Roy have been suspended for one game, against Santa Clara, the first of a three-game road trip. Muhammad and Avery are on the road trip with the team. Roy is not.

Dec. 8: NMSU regents chair Ammu Devasthali speaks out on fatal shooting during a regularly scheduled regents meeting.

Las Cruces Sun-News News Director Lucas Peerman contributed to this story.

Sports Reporter Jason Groves can be reached at jgroves@lcsun-news.com or @jpgroves on Twitter.