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1 hospitalized, 1 jailed after shooting at Las Cruces hotel tied to drug dispute

George Hernandez, felon charged with Las Cruces shooting.
George Hernandez, felon charged with Las Cruces shooting.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- A convicted felon was arrested Tuesday for allegedly shooting another man multiple times during an early morning drug dispute at a Las Cruces hotel.

George Hernandez was jailed without bond on charges including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence, illegal gun possession and resisting arrest.

Police said the shooting happened about 2 a.m. in the Western Inn located along West Picacho Avenue; witnesses at the hotel told police they heard two men arguing and then the sound of gunshots.

A police affidavit said the victim, Pete Covarrubia, was shot at his hotel room by Hernandez after the two men reportedly struggled over a gun. Hernandez told investigators that he went to see the victim because Covarrubia had stolen fentanyl pills from him.

Covarrubia was hospitalized with gunshot wounds, but his condition wasn't known.

Police said Hernandez fled the hotel in a car following the shooting. Officers caught him a short time later and said they found three guns in his possession - including the weapon used in the shooting.

Hernandez has a prior felony drug conviction and served prison time in Arizona, authorities indicated.

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the former Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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