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Government Analyst Facing Murder Charges, Allegedly Shot And Killed Sister

A government analyst is now facing murder charges after police say he shot his sister in the head with a .40 caliber handgun.

Las Cruces Police Officer Wallace Downs says 40-year-old Richard Scott Zikmanis was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center early Saturday. He was originally charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Zikmanis’ sister Denise Zikmanis, who was visiting from Montana, died Monday at University Medical Center in El Paso.

Investigators said the shooting appeared to have happened after a misunderstanding between the siblings inside a Las Cruces home.

Zikmanis works as an analyst with the Department of Defense’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The agency has offices at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.

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