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Las Cruces PD: Argument with shirtless man lead to deadly shooting
By: Bill Melugin
LAS CRUCES, N.M.- Las Cruces police have arrested a 19-year-old suspect in connection to Saturday evening's fatal shooting on the 5300 block of Stern Drive that left a 30-year-old man dead.
Andre Michael Perez, 19, who lives two doors down from where the shooting happened, is charged with an open count of murder.
Vallejos' family spoke to KFOX14 and have their version of events about what happened.
His mother-in-law, who does not wish to be identified, says Vallejos was visiting with his five young children while the family prepared to go to a wedding.
She told KFOX14 Perez had pistol whipped a neighbor in the past, and that when Vallejos saw him walking around in just his underwear in front of his young children, he yelled at him and told him to put some clothes on.
"He approached the kid and asked him to please get some clothes on, the kid was very upset, he got a baton, I don't know from where, and he hit David several times," she said.
Police say the two men began to fight, and Vallejos got the upper hand, hitting him in the face, bloodying him and knocking him unconscious momentarily.
According to police, when Perez came to, he went inside his home and brought out a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, but Vallejos' family told KFOX14 Perez's 13-year-old sister was the one who brought him the shotgun while Vallejos was walking back home.
Police say the two men then met halfway in the street.
That's when Vallejos' family said he noticed the gun.
"He was like, 'put that away, my kids are out here, put that away.' Then young man shot David," his mother-in-law said.
Police say Perez shot Vallejos with the shotgun from about 10-15 yards away. When that brought him to his knees, Perez allegedly shot him again.
Vallejos' mother-in-law said that's when Perez turned his attention to Vallejos' family.
"He threatened my youngest daughter, and my grandson, if they wanted to be next," she said while holding back tears. "He died in my daughter's hands, both of them, and my grandson, they were holding pressure on his wounds."
Police said Vallejos died at the scene.
Perez was booked into the Dona Ana County jail with a cash only bond set at $500,000.
A relative of Perez told KFOX14 she believes the shooting was self defense, but Vallejos' family called it "cold-blooded murder."