NMSU, UNM athletic departments address deadly student shooting
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico State police investigators say 19-year-old Jonathan Smith conspired with three other UNM students to lure Aggie basketball player, Mike Peake, to UNM’s campus over the weekend and jump him.
One of those three was 19-year-old Brandon Travis, who allegedly pulled a gun on Peake. But, Peake fired back with his own gun, hitting and killing Travis.
According to court documents, the setup was to get revenge on Peake for allegedly beating up Travis during a brawl at the UNM-NMSU football game earlier this year.
Smith is one of two people charged so far – 17-year-old female UNM student is charged, too.
KOB 4 learned NMSU officials knew about fighting at the football game and looked into it.
But now, NMSU is saying it was either too hard to identify the students involved – or if they did – federal privacy laws would prevent them from saying what, if anything they did to mitigate the violence.
Still, nobody from either university has stood up and answered questions on camera about the deadly violence that broke out between UNM students, and a star New Mexico State basketball player.
How this could have happened, and what’s next?
A spokesperson for UNM Athletics says there are “lots of moving parts” but nothing to announce regarding the postponed game.
Students at UNM say they got an email from University President Garnett Stokes, and right after the shooting, she posted a statement that mentioned “delayed communication” about what happened caused “considerable anxiety among many residents.”
She also directed people living on campus impacted by this trauma to use Student Health and Counseling Services. She reminded students guns are prohibited on campus, and those found breaking the rules will be subject to “criminal action.”
Then there’s Mike Peake, NMSU’s 6’7 forward, who is not facing charges yet. Peake allegedly brought a gun to UNM’s campus to meet up with a 17-year-old girl at 3 a.m. the same day he was set to play against the Lobos at The Pit.
Police say he returned fire and killed UNM student Brandon Travis on Saturday, while he was fleeing after getting lured to the parking lot behind Coronado Hall.
NMSU canceled their typically scheduled media availability Saturday, instead, they listed a Q&A on their website.
They say federal privacy laws prevent them from commenting on Peake specifically. But, they are aware of multiple students who left violated team curfew rules and left the hotel Friday night – however, no other teammates were involved in the shooting on campus.
They also say student-athletes are not allowed to bring guns on team trips, and prior to this event, student-athlete bags were not getting checked before travel – but they will be now going forward.
The Aggies will still participate in the tournament in Las Vegas this weekend.
Lobo Coach Richard Pitino is scheduled to address the media on Wednesday, although none of his players were involved in this violence.
The two teams are scheduled to play at the end of next week in Las Cruces on Dec. 3. However, NMSU says they don’t know if that game is going to happen – only saying they don’t have an answer right now.