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Las Cruces police continue to investigate a complex incident that resulted in the death of a 42-year-old man and severe injuries to a motorcyclist who was struck by an unknown vehicle last Friday evening. Shortly before 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, Las Cruces police learned of incidents at two separate locations – at the intersection of Idaho Avenue and south Main Street, and on the 100 block of Wyatt Drive – that were later determined to stem from a barroom altercation.
On Wyatt Drive, police came in contact with a Lincoln Town Car carrying a gunshot victim. Las Cruces police, fire and medical personnel tended to the victim, identified as 42-year-old Tony Perez, who succumbed to his injuries.
Investigators learned Perez and the 41-year-old driver of a blue Harley Davidson had earlier in the evening gotten into an altercation at the Blitz Sports Bar, on east Idaho Avenue. Perez left the bar with a friend in the Lincoln Town Car and traveled west on Idaho. The motorcyclist also left the bar. The motorcyclist’s wife left the bar in a separate vehicle.
When the Town Car and Harley Davidson arrived near the intersection of Idaho Avenue and south Main Street, Perez and the motorcyclist continued the altercation that became physical. Witnesses told investigators that Perez struck the motorcyclist several times with what was later determined to be a baton.
Investigators believe the motorcyclist produced a handgun and discharged at least one round that struck Perez. Perez and his friend got back into the Town Car and fled. On Wyatt Drive, the friend flagged down an LCPD officer who, along with other first responders, were unsuccessful in rendering aide to Perez.
Meanwhile, police learned, the motorcyclist was struck by a dark-colored sedan that was traveling west on Idaho Avenue in the eastbound lanes of traffic. After striking the motorcyclist, the dark-colored sedan fled from the area.
The motorcyclist, who police are not identifying at this time, was transported to a local hospital with multiple injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening.
Police are trying to identify the driver of that dark-colored sedan and locate the vehicle. The dark-colored sedan should have visible damage to its front-end. It’s likely the driver of that vehicle has concealed it in a garage, under a tarp or in a backyard. The driver might have spent time making repairs or concealing damage to the vehicle.
It’s also likely the driver may have changed routines, not gone into work or canceled plans since the Friday evening incident.
Anyone with information that can help identify the driver of the dark-colored sedan, or the location of the vehicle, is asked to call police at 575-526-0795.