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Notorious Las Cruces bowling alley massacre still a mystery 31 years later

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- On the anniversary of a notorious massacre at a southern New Mexico bowling alley that remains unsolved 31 years later, police are again reminding the public of a $25,000 reward for information leading to the killers behind a deadly robbery that left four dead.

"The mass-shooting at Las Cruces Bowl, on Feb. 10, 1990, is considered one of the most heinous crimes in the city’s history," said Las Cruces police spokesman Dan Trujillo.

Police say two unidentified robbers came into the bowling alley on that day and shot seven people before burning a portion of the building at at 1201 E. Amador Avenue. The assailants lined up all seven victims on the floor in the cramped office, shooting each in the head multiple times at close range.

Three of those fatally shot were children.

Helicopters and planes from the U.S. Customs Service, Army and Border Patrol assisted in the search for the two men reported by witnesses to be driving a tan or green van or utility vehicle.

No arrests were ever made and investigators believe the robbers got away with about $5,000 in cash.

Despite intense efforts by authorities, the identities of those responsible for the worst mass murder in the history of Las Cruces remain unknown over three decades later.

The survivors gave descriptions of the killers to police. Both were Hispanic, one about 30, with dark wavy hair, light-colored eyes and no accent in his speech. The other was about 45 to 50 with thinning salt-and-pepper hair, a dark complexion and a slight Spanish accent.

Investigators are still chasing leads, still working to keep the case in the headlines each anniversary day in the hopes that someone will finally come forward with a tip that breaks it open.

Las Cruces-Dona Ana County Crime Stoppers continues offering a $25,000 reward for information that helps identify the men responsible for the mass-shooting. Tips can be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be provided online at

(The Associated Press contributed background to this report.)

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Jim Parker

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


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