New Mexico State hires outside firm to investigate Albuquerque shooting case

Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News
New Mexico State men's basketball head coach Greg Heiar interacts with players on the first day of basketball practice Sept. 27.

LAS CRUCES - The day after a report from KOAT, a TV station in Albuquerque, alleging members of the New Mexico State basketball team may have taken evidence away from the scene of the deadly shootout involving player Mike Peake last month on the University of New Mexico campus, NMSU administration announced Tuesday the university will conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.

NMSU has hired an external investigator surrounding the events of the Nov. 19 shooting, according to a release the school sent out on Tuesday. NM State did not name the external investigator on Tuesday, but the school said that information will be released when there is a contract in place.

"We will be incredibly transparent during this process,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu in a statement. “We owe that to our community and to everyone associated with our university. The firm selected will be encouraged to review any public documents regarding this case and be fully empowered to speak with any NMSU employees, students or other individuals necessary to ensure we fully understand the facts.

"If there is anything we should have done differently, this report will let us know. In the last day, we have received a number of new questions regarding this case. Unfortunately, some of what’s been reported in the media is information NMSU has not been provided,” Arvizu said. “To be fair to all involved, it’s important to have a more detailed understanding of what has occurred.”

NMSU basketball officials respond to report players, assistant coach had Peake's gun following shootout

The report from New Mexico State Police, obtained by KOAT, stated police have video showing three of Peake's teammates arriving at the scene before police and that Peake places a gun and other items in the trunk of a Chevy Camaro before the teammates drive off. Police recovered the gun from an NMSU assistant coach at an Albuquerque hotel later in the day, the report stated.

The Sun-News has not yet obtained the police documents cited in KOAT's report, which stated that Peak is seen on video after the shooting Aggies players meeting teammates Issa Muhammed, Marchelus Avery and Anthony Roy, who arrive in a Camaro. Peake places items in the trunk of the vehicle, which speeds away before police get to the scene.

NMSU athletics director Mario Moccia said Monday that the entire team and coaching staff would travel on Tuesday as the Aggies have a three-game road trip over the next week. On Tuesday, NMSU revealed that Roy did not travel on Tuesday due to "personal reasons."