University of New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nuñez announced Tuesday the rivalry series between the New Mexico and the New Mexico State men’s basketball programs will not be played this season following a shooting last weekend left one UNM student dead, two others arrested and Aggies player Mike Peake in the hospital.
The two schools agreed on the decision to put the men’s series on hold. The women’s game on Dec. 11 is still going to be played.
“We felt, at this time, there needed to be a pause,” Nuñez said, per a detailed story by Albuquerque Journal reporter Geoff Grammer. “This event (Saturday’s shooting) just recently occurred. There’s still a lot of anxiety and concerns in the community. And we want to make sure that those take precedence over this event.”
According to local investigators, a fight that broke out at the October Aggies-Lobos football game, which went viral with 101K views on Twitter as of me writing this story, led to the shooting.
In another article by ABQ Journal reporter Elise Kaplan, three UNM freshmen wanted revenge and planned to lure NMSU men’s basketball player Mike Peake, 21, to beat him up “badly”. The UNM students had the help of a 17-year-old freshmen, Mya Hill, who persuaded Peake to take an Uber to campus by saying she’d have sex with him according to reports and local authorities.
The plan turned deadly, as 19-year-old UNM student Brandon Travis was killed and Peake was hospitalized.
Police say both Travis and Peake had guns. Peake has not been charged as of publication, while UNM student Jonathan Smith, 19, has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery, conspiracy and tampering with evidence, all felonies.
One student involved, only known as “Eli” at this time, allegedly hit Peake in the leg with a bat before shots were fired. Peake then ran away as Travis began shooting at him. Police say Peake was seen pulling a gun from his waistband to fire back at Travis.
According to the ABQ Journal, student athletes are not allowed to bring guns on team trips, and NMSU told the publication that “possession, use or distribution of any weapon on university property or at a sponsored university activity is a violation of university student code of conduct.”
Editor’s note: For on-the-scene local reporting, I highly encourage you to follow the coverage by the Albuquerque Journal and CBS/SB Nation/Mid-Major Madness writer Isabel Gonzalez.