Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

1 hospitalized, 1 detained after being shot in connection with a drug fight at the Las Cruces Hotel

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

George Hernandez has been detained without bail on charges of heavy battery with a deadly weapon, manipulation of evidence, illegal gun possession, and resisting arrest, among other things.

Police said the shooting occurred around 2 a.m. at the Western Inn on West Picacho Avenue; Witnesses at the hotel told police they heard two men arguing and then heard the sound of gunshots.

A police affidavit says the victim, Pete Covarrubia, was shot and killed by Hernandez in his hotel room after the two men reportedly argued over a gun. Hernandez told investigators he went to see the victim because Covarrubia stole fentanyl pills from him.

Covarrubia was hospitalized with gunshot wounds, but his condition was unknown.

Police said Hernandez escaped the hotel in a car after the shooting. Officers caught him a short time later and said they had found three firearms in his possession – including the one used in the shooting.

Hernandez has a previous drug-related conviction and is serving a prison sentence in Arizona, authorities said.

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