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NMSU, UNM 'committed to lowering the temperature' of rivalry after shooting

a crowd at a lobos vs. aggies football game

New Mexico State University leaders held a press conference Wednesday to discuss their response to the early Saturday morning gunfight on UNM’s campus.

Two UNM students have been arrested and charged in connection with the shootout that left UNM student Brandon Travis dead, and hospitalized NMSU athlete Mike Peake hours ahead of the rivalry game.

State police accuse Travis of conspiring with three other UNM students to lure Peake to campus to assault him. The Albuquerque Journal reports the plan was in retaliation for a fight at a Lobos/Aggies football game last month, according to court documents.

NMSU’s Chancellor Dan Arvizu said that the incident, "exposed some of the serious underbelly of the challenges that are facing society just in general."

However, Arvizu acknowledged that the rivalry between the schools may have played a role and said he had spoken to UNM's President Garnett Stokes.

"In the context of that rivalry, and especially as it has gained a bit more of a confrontational sort of tone to it over over the past few seasons. President Stokes and I met, we've talked at great length a number of times since last week," he said.

"We are both committed to lowering the temperature."

UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair told KUNM the number of arrests involving weapons at the Albuquerque campus have been four or fewer every year since 2018.

However, there have been three incidents involving guns at UNM in the last month, including a person shooting into the air from the roof of a parking structure and a report of someone brandishing a gun near the site of the weekend shooting at 12.15am on November 22.

Blair says the university uses technology to try to maintain safety, like monitored video surveillance and the Lobo Guardian app that can call directly to campus police and includes location data. There have been no new safety measures since the weekend.

For now, Peake is still enrolled at NMSU and is still on the roster of the Aggies basketball team that will travel without him to a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend.

Kaveh Mowahed is a reporter with KUNM who follows government, public health and housing. Send story ideas to kaveh@kunm.org.
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