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Police seek van driver who witnessed man get gunned down on Las Cruces street

UPDATE, Aug. 25: Las Cruces police said Wednesday they were seeking to talk with a transport van driver who likely witnessed a deadly drive-by shooting earlier this month on Lohman Avenue.

Detectives indicated the witness drove a white Ford Transport minivan that was traveling east on Lohman at the time of the Aug. 16 shooting that killed 40-year-old Ezekiel Diaz.

Investigators said in a statement that they believe "the witness likely saw the shooting and can provide valuable information to help solve the case," while also stressing that "the driver of the minivan is only believed to be a witness and was not involved in the shooting."

Authorities urged the minivan driver to call police immediately at (575) 526-0795.

UPDATE, Aug. 17: Las Cruces police were seeking tips in the death of a 40-year-old man who was gunned down Monday night by a drive-by shooter on Lohman Avenue.

Authorities on Tuesday identified the victim as Ezekiel Diaz, who died of at least one gunshot wound.

He was found lying on the roadway near the driver’s-side door of an SUV by Jo Galván Nash, a motorist who came upon the scene shortly after the shooting.

"It was just a normal night going down Lohman," Nash told ABC-7. "There was an SUV in front of me but he was stopped in traffic. I see that there were feet and legs on the ground. So I pulled over and got out and sure enough, there was a man laying on the ground and he was bleeding.”

Nash said she didn't initially realize that Diaz had been shot.

“My initial reaction was, ‘He got hit by a car!' When you see someone on the ground, you know they need help," said Nash.
 
Las Cruces-Doña Ana County Crime Stoppers announced Tuesday that it was offering a $2,000 cash reward for information that helps identify the shooter. Authorities said anyone with information can call Las Cruces police at (575) 526-0795 or call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-8477.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Aug. 16: LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — Police said a person was shot Monday night in a business district in central Las Cruces and an ABC-7 crew at the scene observed a body covered by a sheet.

The shooting occurred about 7:30 p.m. near the intersection of Lohman Avenue and Walnut Street.

Investigators blocked off the intersection along with a one-block radius on Lohman and Walnut for much of the night.

Police advised people to avoid the area, which includes a number of major retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, Sprouts and Hobby Lobby.

Authorities wouldn't discuss the victim's apparent death or the circumstances surrounding the shooting; they also wouldn't say whether any arrests had been made.

Jim Parker

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

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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