Las Cruces police arrest suspect accused in Wednesday’s robbery/shooting near NMSU

Las Cruces News

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Las Cruces police have arrested the man suspected in Wednesday’s armed robbery and shooting that critically injured a 16-year-old boy near the Casa Bandera Apartments, officials announced.

Samuel L. “Sammy” Pinon, 18, has been charged with one second-degree felony count of armed robbery.

According to LCPD, at around 2:40 p.m., on Wednesday, Las Cruces police were dispatched to the report of a shooting near the Casa Bandera Apartments at 855 E. University Ave. When officers arrived, they learned one victim, a 16-year-old boy, had been transported by private vehicle to Memorial Medical Center. Officials said the victim who was suffering from at least one gunshot wound, was then airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso in critical, but stable condition.

Investigators said that Pinon and the 16-year-old boy used the social media app Snapchat to talk about the sale of marijuana. According to LCPD, Pinon agreed to meet the teen at the apartment complex but became uneasy with the transaction.

Detectives said Pinon displayed a semiautomatic handgun, wrestled the bag of marijuana away from the victim, and took off on foot through the apartment complex. The victim and two friends reportedly pursued Pinon and got into another altercation with him. Authorities said during the second altercation, Pinon allegedly fired at least one round that struck the 16-year-old and took off on foot again. Investigators said the victim’s friend drove the 16-year-old victim to Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces.

Investigators were able to determine Pinon’s identity through his Snapchat and Facebook accounts. Pinon was taken into custody late Wednesday evening and charged with the crime, authorities said.

According to LCPD, additional charges are possible.

Pinon was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.

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