Two charged in Saturday shooting
ROSWELL, N.M. – Roswell police are investigating the city’s first homicide of 2022 after a woman was shot and killed inside her home Saturday, allegedly by a woman who was living with her.
Officers were dispatched to a 900 block of South Caminisito Street home just before 1 p.m. in response to a shots fired call. When they arrived they found 51-year-old Cassandra Kirkman inside the house, dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Melissa Kenyon, 26, who was one of Kirkman’s housemates, and Kenyon’s boyfriend 35-year-old Uriah Shields were outside the house when officers reached the scene.
“They were taken to the police station where here and questioned as part of the investigation,” Todd W Wildermuth, public information officer with the Roswell Police Department, said Monday.
Police believe an argument that turned into a physical fight between Kirkman and Kenyon that led to the shooting.
“During this fight one of the women, Cassandra Kirkman, was using some object that other people described as a pipe as part of the fight against Ms. Melissa Kenyon. At some point, Ms. Kenyon obtained a gun that was in the residence. And as the two continued to fight, Ms. Kenyon pointed the gun at Ms. Kirkman at some point and shot a shot that that struck Ms. Kirkman in the head killing her,” Wildermuth said.
Kenyon is now charged with one count of voluntary manslaughter, according to court records.
Investigators believe the .22 caliber handgun used in the shooting belonged to Shields, a convicted felon who was prohibited from possessing a gun. He has been charged with one count of criminal in possession of a firearm.
Kirkman and Kenyon had a history of conflict and police in the past had been called to the residence due to the two women fighting.
According to court records, Kenyon is believed to have consumed a significant amount of drugs and alcohol that morning in the lead up to the shooting.
The Office of the District Attorney for New Mexico’s Fifth Judicial District has filed a motion to keep Kenyon behind bars while she awaits trial on the voluntary manslaughter charge.
Though she does not have any appreciable criminal history, prosecutors say they worry about the safety of witnesses in the case if Kenyon is released pending trail.
Prosecutors also state in their motion they are concerned that instead of deescalating the situation, Kenyon reportedly armed herself with a gun and confronted Kirkman.