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(Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

Otis Chavez

The Artesia Police Department is continuing this morning to investigate a homicide that occurred early this morning at the Abo Apartments.

Officers were dispatched at 1:39 a.m. to the area of 700 N. 10th St. in reference to shots fired. Upon arrival, they found two individuals suffering from gunshot wounds.

Otis Chavez, 22, was wounded in the torso and was pronounced dead at the scene. A 21-year-old male was suffering from two gunshot wounds to the torso and was transported to Artesia General Hospital before being airlifted to El Paso, Texas, in critical condition.

According to APD Cmdr. Lindell Smith, the scene was secured and witnesses were identified, separated and interviewed. A search warrant for the apartment at which the crime occurred is being secured before officers can begin a more complete investigation.

“It will consist of gathering evidence connected with the incident, including photos of the scene, collection of blood spatter, guns and ballistic evidence, and any other physical evidence that will help bring this case to justice,” said Smith. “The detectives will likely be on scene for the next 12 hours or so.”

The APD says it is currently unknown what prompted the violent confrontation.

“Detectives will be better able to make that determination after witness interviews are compared to the gathered physical evidence and evaluation of wounds on the deceased and injured.”

Smith says no outstanding suspects are wanted by the APD at this time.

Anyone with information concerning the crime is asked to contact the APD at 746-5000 or, anonymously, Crime Stoppers of Eddy County at 575-887-1888, by emailing a tip via artesianm.gov/tips, or by texting the code word StopACrime plus the tip to 274637. Crime Stoppers users may earn rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.