Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 11/03/2021
This update identifies the victim in the shooting and gives additional details on the amended criminal charges.
Cibola County, NM – On October 27, 2021, at approximately 11:40 p.m., New Mexico State Police Uniform officers responded to the Cibola General Hospital in Grants, NM in reference to a female victim with a gunshot injury. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called and took over the investigation.
During the investigation, agents learned a male identified as Deandre Mirabal (23) of Grants, NM, and the female victim, Raquel Morales (21) from Grants, NM were traveling west in a Ford Mustang on Interstate 40. While traveling west on Interstate 40, Mirabal and Morales got into a verbal altercation and Mirabal produced a firearm. Near milepost 85, Morales attempted to grab the firearm away from Mirabal while driving when a physical altercation ensued. During the struggle for the firearm, it went off and struck Morales in the head. Mirabal, who was sitting in the passenger seat, brought the vehicle to a safe stop and drove the vehicle to the Cibola General Hospital in Grants, NM.
Morales was treated at the hospital and later flown to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, where she succumbed to her injuries on October 31, 2021.
On October 28, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued out of the Cibola County Magistrate Court for Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. On October 28, 2021, Deandre Mirabal was arrested without incident and booked into the Cibola County Core Civic Correctional Center in Milan, NM.
On November 1, 2021, an amended arrest warrant was issued from the Cibola County Magistrate Court and Mirabal was charged with Murder in the 2nd Degree.
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the district attorney for their review and consideration.