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Police: Friend intervenes in couple’s dispute, shoots and kills the boyfriend

Update: Officials posted Hernandez's mugshot online.

Update: Las Cruces Police say a dispute is what lead to a deadly shooting near a middle school, early Wednesday morning.

Investigators believe that 24-year-old Elijah Daniel Venegas and his girlfriend, who were staying at a house on Lester Ave., got into an argument.

Police say that Venegas' girlfriend called 22-year-old Bernardo Hernandez Jr. and asked for a ride.

They say that when Hernandez arrived, he and Venegas got into a physical argument.

At one point, Hernandez got out of the car and picked up a gun, which he then used, firing multiple rounds at Venegas, according to police.

They also say that Hernandez ran away and disposed of the evidence, which included the gun, outside Lynn Middle School. He prompted a lockdown before students were transferred to the other school.

Hernandez has been charged with one first-degree felony count of murder and one felony count of tampering with evidence.

He is being held at the Doña Ana County Detention Center without bond.

LAS CRUCES, NM (KVIA) -- Lynn Middle School in Las Cruces has been placed on lockdown as police investigate a shooting.

Police received the call around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The middle school has been placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure. No one is being allowed into the school.

Heavy police presence has been seen by an ABC-7 crew on Lester Ave. between Walnut St. and Skyway Dr., as well as around Lynn Middle School.

LCPD spokesperson Dan Trujillo said one person is in custody who they suspect is the shooter.

Trujillo said one person sustained a gunshot wound.

A spokesperson Kelly Jameson for Las Cruces Public Schools says that there is no immediate threat to students or staff.

"Students and staff scheduled to arrive for their regular school day are being rerouted to neighboring Sierra Middle School where staff are ready to serve breakfast and possibly lunch, says Jameson. "Parents were advised they can keep their students home while administration waits for the all-clear from police." 

ABC-7 is working to find out if the person who sustained injuries is a different individual or if it's the suspected shooter.

This is a developing story.

Article Topic Follows: ABC-7 Alert Center

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Jennifer Mendoza

Jennifer Mendoza is the Executive Producer for Good Morning El Paso.

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Jason McNabb

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist & GMEP Weekends co-anchor


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