New Mexico State Basketball Forward Mike Peake Suspended After Fatal Shooting That May Have Been In Self-Defense

Syndication: Las Cruces Sun-News
Nathan J. Fish/Sun News / USA TODAY NETWORK

New Mexico State University suspended Mike Peake from its basketball team as police continue to investigate a fatal shooting by Peake that may have happened in self-defense after an allegedly planned attack on the forward.

Police say Peake was allegedly lured to University of New Mexico campus by four people who planned to attack him. An investigation showed that Peake allegedly skipped his curfew in Albuquerque just before one of his team games to meet a 17-year-old female on the New Mexico campus. According to police reports, Peake encountered the girl as well as a 19-year-old named Brandon Travis and two other males, all University of New Mexico students. The report says one man allegedly hit Peake with a baseball bat and another shot at him while he was running away. Peake allegedly shot back, striking Travis four times and killing him. Peake allegedly suffered a leg injury and had to undergo several surgeries.

“Through investigation, agents later learned that Travis had conspired with a 17-year-old female and two of Travis’s male friends, all UNM students, to lure the 21-year-old victim to UNM campus and assault him,” New Mexico State police said in a statement.

“Mike is suspended from our basketball team until the completion of the university’s investigation and the investigation of the proper authorities,” New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia said to the media. “When those investigations will be complete, I can’t say.”

Police say the attack on Peake was planned as revenge for a fight a few weeks earlier at a football game between University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. A man named Jonathan Smith and the girl, who is still unnamed, are facing charges related to the allegedly planned attack on Peake.

Police claimed in the report that New Mexico State Aggies head coach Greg Heiar and assistant coach Dominque Taylor were not cooperative during the police investigation as police tried to recover the weapon used to shoot Travis.

“I emphasized to Coach Taylor how important it was to recover the gun and other items that were placed in the trunk,” state police agent David Esquibel wrote. “I asked him to let me know if he finds out any information about the Camaro, the gun or other items and he said he would.”

According to police, Peake allegedly met his teammates Issa Muhammad, Marcelus Avery and Anthony Roy after the shooting and was caught on video putting items into a trunk. Police later found the weapon wrapped in a towel. Police are now examining Peake’s electronic devices, including his cell phone, as they continue their investigation.