AP NEWS

Prosecutors won’t charge New Mexico man who fatally shot 2

December 20, 2019 GMT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Prosecutors have decided not to charge a man after he fatally shot two people earlier this year.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Thursday that the district attorney’s office declared the shooting “justifiable homicide” after he shot at two people attempting to rob him.

Authorities are not releasing the shooter’s name but have said he is 21 years old.

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio and Chief Deputy Gerald Byers say evidence established the situation that led to the shooting was brought about by the two 22-year-olds Syerra Benavidez and Justin Barela.

The man was driving Benavidez and Barela in Las Cruces before they pulled a knife on him and asked for his cell phone, wallet and keys, authorities said.

The man grabbed a gun in his vehicle and opened fire as he exited the vehicle, authorities said. He then ran down the street and stopped at Erica Eller’s house.

Eller told the Sun-News in May that the man explained he had shot someone and asked her to call police.

The man then placed the empty pistol and empty magazine on a patio table located outside and waited until law enforcement arrived, Eller said.