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Man charged with Child Abuse now a suspect in February shooting

The man arrested earlier this month and charged with two counts of child abuse is now suspected of shooting at another woman’s home in early February, Las Cruces Police said.

Tezcatlipoca “Tez” Soto, 19, of the 1000 block of west Hadley Avenue, now is charged with one count of “shooting at a dwelling or occupied building.”

Investigators learned Soto is responsible for the February shooting at an ex-girlfriend’s residence on the 6100 block of Pecan Lane.

Soto was allegedly angry with his ex-girlfriend because she was going to seek sole custody of their infant daughter. Investigators learned Soto’s anger intensified when he saw a photo of his ex-girlfriend kissing another man holding their daughter.

Police said Soto borrowed a firearm and had friends give him a ride to Pecan Lane the night of February 1, 2017. Soto is believed to have exited the vehicle and fired at least two gunshots toward the woman’s home. The residence was unoccupied at the time of the shooting.

On July 2, 2017, Soto was arrested on two counts of child abuse after the 2-year-old son of his new girlfriend was hospitalized with severe bruising to his face, legs and groin area. In that case, investigators believe Soto was responsible for the injuries because he was babysitting the young child when the injuries occurred.

Soto was jailed on those charges, but released July 6 on his own recognizance. Since then, LCPD investigators have gathered enough information to charge Soto with the February shooting. A warrant was issued for Soto’s arrest on July 12.

Soto was arrested on the shooting charge on the afternoon of Thursday, July 13. He is once again incarcerated with a no-bond hold at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

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