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NMSU PD on edge after nearby shootings

The NMSU Police Department is staying alert and reacting quickly to nearby threats and shootings. The fall semester began with an alert from NMSU’s emergency notification system informing students and faculty of a shooting in the area on Aug. 10. 

One man died and another person was injured in the shooting that took place less than five minutes away from the NMSU main campus. According to Deputy Chief Justin Dunivan of NMSUPD, the university officers assisted the Las Cruces Police Department in containing the situation. 

“We had potential information that the suspects had left running southbound toward the Whataburger and possibly toward campus,” Dunivan said.  

The Aug. 10 shooting came just eight days after a fatal, officer-involved shooting at the Chevron gas station on Valley Drive near the northwest corner of campus. 

Two weeks later, on Aug. 20, gunfire was exchanged between two moving vehicles near the intersection of University Avenue and El Paseo Road. Campus police and public safety aids assisted the LCPD by blocking traffic at the intersection. 

“We were on alert and conscientious about them coming back to the nearby area and safeguarding our students,” Dunivan explained.  

NMSU student Raquel Cruz witnessed the ambulances parked in front of first-year residential dorms, Piñon Hall. 

“It’s kind of shocking how a shooting can happen without a lot of people knowing about it,” Cruz said. “[It happened] right under our noses.”  

Working in conjunction with regional partners, the campus police department is trying to “reduce the increase in violent crime” on and near campus, according to Deputy Chief Justin Dunivan of the New Mexico State University Police Department. (Photo illustraion by Kokopelli staff)

Later that night, a potential “shots fired” call was made to the NMSU Police Department in connection with a fraternity house near campus. The house involved belongs to the Alpha Gamma Rho agricultural fraternity located on Espina Street.

“LCPD was the primary force that responded because it’s an address in the city,” Dunivan said. “Once they got there, they were unable to substantiate that a shooting even occurred.” 

As people continued entering the fraternity house, police warned students, including Jayden Ward, of the possible shots fired. According to Ward, the police arrived at the scene around midnight. 

 “There was a whole bunch of cops and their lights started flashing,” Ward said. “I don’t think they shut the party down, but they made sure there were no threats.”  

Working in conjunction with regional partners, the campus police department is trying to “reduce the increase in violent crimes on and near campus.” 

Posted on flyers throughout university buildings, the NMSU police motto reads, “If you see something, say something,” urging students to speak up about suspicious activity.  To report suspicious activity, contact NMSUPD at (575)-646-3311 and if it is an emergency, dial 911. 

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