Las Cruces, NM (KDBC) — One man has died and another is facing murder charges. Las Cruces Police arrested a man they believe shot a 30-year-old man to death during what they called an argument over clothing.
Witnesses and police said the argument started because the suspect --19-year-old Andre Perez -- was not wearing a shirt. That made the neighborhood uncomfortable and family members said 30-year-old David Vallejos was just trying to protect his family.
30-year-old David Vallejos and his family were getting ready in Las Cruces to celebrate a night with family.
"My granddaughters were running around we were getting ready for the wedding,” a woman who claimed to be the victim’s mother-in-law told us. She declined to show her face or give us her name on camera. What was supposed to be a happy occasion on Saturday, turned tragic. "He died in both my daughters and my grandsons arms."
A man who died after getting involved in a fight, over clothing.
"He's had these violent outbursts before,” the woman told us about the suspect, "It's very uncomfortable."
Witnesses said 19-year-old Andre Perez was working on his car, at his home, shirtless. "A lot of the neighbors have seen him. They won't approach him because he's been involved in several altercations."
Police said Vallejos asked him to put some clothes on, instead, "Andrew went inside and came outside with a baton, then he started striking David."
Vallejos managed to overpower him, knocking him unconscious. Witnesses say when Perez came to consciousness -- he grabbed a shotgun. "He just shot David as David was approaching him, getting close to him to tell him to put that away,” she told us with tears in her eyes. "Dominic went inside to tell my daughter that - 'my dad's been shot, my dad's been shot.’"
His family tried to save him but it was too late. "His kids were his pride and joy. He was a family man"
Vallejos died and the suspect is facing serious charges. "He's being charged with an open count of murder and right now he's being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center here in Las Cruces,” Dan Trujillo, Spokesman with the Las Cruces Police Department explained.
David leaves behind a wife and five children ranging in age from six to 12-years-old.