EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Former New Mexico State basketball player Mike Peake will not be charged with a crime in relation to a deadly shooting in Albuquerque on Nov. 19, 2022, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office confirmed to KTSM on Monday night.
KOB, KTSM’s NBC sister station in Albuquerque, was the first to report the news. The D.A.’s office says it determined Peake acted in self-defense, which is what police initially said last November, too.
“The decision not to charge Mike Peake was made by the prior administration based on all the facts and evidence presented to them. Nothing has changed, so we’re honoring that decision,” Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Nancy Laflin said in a statement to KTSM.
It is also a crime in New Mexico to bring a firearm on to a college campus, however, Peake was not charged with regards to that, either.
KTSM asked about three other former NMSU players and two former coaches – Marchelus Avery, Issa Muhammad, Anthony Roy, Greg Heiar, and Dominique Taylor – that were a part of the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s investigation into the shooting and Laflin said on Tuesday morning that none of them would be charged at this time, either.
“While their lack of cooperation after the shooting certainly did not help to further the investigation, this behavior does not appear to meet the legal standard of criminal obstruction or tampering with evidence,” Laflin said in a statement. “Should any new information surface that could impact this decision, we may reconsider.”
The three players had gone to aid Peake after he was shot that morning and put his firearm and a tablet into the trunk of the car they arrived in. The tablet was later found on the NMSU bus the next day; Peake’s gun was turned over to authorities by Taylor at the team hotel after he retrieved it from one of the players’ rooms.
The NMSU team bus also had to pull over at a rest stop on the way back from Las Cruces and wait for authorities, because they left before New Mexico State Police had completed their preliminary investigation the morning of the shooting.
Once the news broke, Peake took to social media to comment on it himself.
“So glad I didn’t lose myself through this process, I love how everyone had their own pieces to say. Now it’s my turn to explain MY STORY. In due time,” Peake wrote on Twitter.
Peake was suspended from the Aggies team in November due to his role in the shooting and the events leading up to it, then entered the NCAA Transfer Portal in late March.
The deadly shooting in Albuquerque on Nov. 19, 2022, left Peake injured and 19-year-old University of New Mexico student Brandon Travis dead.
According to police, Travis and fellow UNM students Jonathan Smith and Eli’Sha Upshaw allegedly wanted revenge against Peake for a fight at the Oct. 15, 2022, football game between UNM and NMSU in Las Cruces.
The three men lured Peake to UNM’s campus with the help of a 17-year-old female UNM student in the early morning hours of Nov. 19 – the same day NMSU and UNM were supposed to play the Battle of I-25 rivalry game at The Pit.
According to the girl’s statement to police, she told Peake she would have sex with him to get him to come to campus. Once he arrived, Smith, Travis, and Upshaw can be seen on surveillance footage running up behind Peake. Travis pulls a gun out and points it in Peake’s face and Upshaw assaults him with a baseball bat.
When Peake tried to run away, Travis chased after him; Peake then pulled out his own gun and the two exchanged fire. Police say Travis shot first and that Peake acted in self-defense; Travis was shot four times and died from his injuries, while Peake was shot once in the leg.
The three other UNM students were all arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including aggravated battery and conspiracy. Smith took a plea deal in January, while Upshaw is currently awaiting trial after pleading guilty.
The case regarding the shooting in Albuquerque is completely unrelated to a separate and ongoing case of alleged hazing and sexual assault, of which there is currently a lawsuit by two former players Deuce Benjamin and Shakiru Odunewu against three former teammates Deshawndre Washington, Doctor Bradley and Kim Aiken Jr., as well as Heiar and Taylor for alleged negligence.
The allegations resulted in Heiar’s firing and the season’s cancellation in February. The New Mexico Attorney General’s office is currently in the process of investigating the allegations in the lawsuit for possible criminal charges. The A.G.’s office told KTSM last week that prosecution is, “likely,” in that case.