New Mexico State's Mike Peake suspended after deadly shooting as new details emerge

Mike Peake's New Mexico State teammates and coaches reportedly helped him in the immediate aftermath of the shooting on New Mexico's campus last month
Mike Peake's New Mexico State teammates and coaches reportedly helped him in the immediate aftermath of the shooting on New Mexico's campus last month. (Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

New Mexico State players and assistant coaches helped teammate Mike Peake following a deadly shootout last month at the University of New Mexico, according to new reporting from the Albuquerque Journal and KOAT-TV.

Peake was “lured” to New Mexico’s campus by four Lobos students in Albuquerque the night before the two teams were set to play last month. The students, police said, were going to “assault” Peake at a residence hall, part of a revenge plot stemming from an altercation at the football game between the two schools in October.

Peake, per the Journal, arrived at a residence hall around 3 a.m. on Nov. 19 and was confronted by three men. One of them, 19-year-old Brandon Travis, allegedly shot Peake in the leg. Peake then reportedly fired back with his own gun and hit Travis four times, killing him.

A 17-year-old girl was arrested for her role in the incident. Another man, 19-year-old Jonathan Smith, was charged as well.

The basketball game was canceled as a result.

After the shooting, per the report, Peake met up with three of his teammates on New Mexico’s campus and put his gun and a tablet in the trunk of their car. The teammates then drove off, per the report, and called both assistant coach Dominique Taylor and head coach Greg Heiar.

The basketball team then left town, but Taylor stayed behind at the hotel the team was staying in. By about 3:45 p.m., more than 12 hours after the reported shooting, Taylor handed the gun to police.

The team bus left the hotel around 11:30 a.m., after the game had been canceled. An officer chased down the bus on the interstate and pulled it over in an apparent effort to find the items Peake had reportedly placed in the trunk of his teammates’ car. Police obtained his tablet in a backpack.

The three teammates, Issa Muhammad, Marchelus Avery and Anthony Roy, all played in New Mexico State’s game on Monday night. Roy did not travel with the team on Tuesday to California ahead of their game on Wednesday at Santa Clara for “personal reasons.”

None of those players, coaches or Peake have been charged in the incident. Peake was described as a victim in the initial report.

The university has since made plans to hire an independent investigator to review the event.

“We will be incredibly transparent during this process, New Mexico State chancellor Dan Arvizu said in a statement. “We owe that to our community and to everyone associated with our university. The firm selected will be encouraged to review public documents regarding this case and be fully empowered to speak with any NMSU employees, students or other individuals necessary to ensure we fully understand the facts.

“If there is anything we should have done differently, this report will let us know. In the last day, we have received a number of new questions regarding this case. Unfortunately, some of what's been reported in the media is information NMSU has not been provided. To be fair to all involved, it’s important to have a more detailed understanding of what has ocurred.”

Peake was suspended by the team indefinitely on Monday. The 21-year-old transferred into the program before last season. Athletic director Mario Moccia couldn’t comment on his status as a student at the school.

"Mike is suspended from our basketball team until the completion of the university's investigation and the investigation of the proper authorities," Moccia said, via The Associated Press. “When those investigations will be complete, I can't say … If there is criticism over this decision, I am in a position to take it on myself.

“I've known this player for years, and I know what kind of person he is. I didn't feel a need to rush to judgment. I wanted to give the investigation time to play out before making any decisions."