The man believed to be responsible for Friday’s shooting on Lees Drive has been arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter.
David Chavez, 19, is charged with felony counts of voluntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence and failure to comply with conditions of release. Chavez also had four misdemeanor warrants for failure to appear.
Chavez is suspected of shooting 30-year-old Mitchell Russell who succumbed to his injuries.
About 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, Las Cruces police were called to the report of shots fired on the 900 block of Lees Drive. Officers arrived to find Russell on the ground. He appeared to have at least one gunshot wound and was pronounced dead on scene.
The investigation revealed Russell had reason to believe that Chavez was burglarizing vehicles earlier that morning at the nearby Walmart Superstore. Russell located Chavez south of Lohman Avenue and confronted him about allegedly breaking into vehicles.
Investigators believe Chavez fled on foot from the initial confrontation and Russell located him again on Lees Drive near Nevada Avenue. Russell again confronted Chavez and the two got into a physical confrontation. Sometime during the confrontation, Chavez is suspected of discharging a handgun, killing Russell.
Chavez left on foot and allegedly went to a friend’s house where he left the gun. Chavez was detained Friday afternoon on Alameda Boulevard after police conducted a high-risk stop on the vehicle he was riding as a passenger.
Chavez was subsequently charged and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.