Dona Ana County– On Friday, March 3, 2023, at approximately 9:00 p.m., the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau responded to a homicide on Interstate 25 near mile marker 8 outside of Las Cruces, NM.
Investigations Bureau agents learned that 17-year-old Benjamin Archuleta and a passenger were traveling south on I-25 when the shooting occurred. Prior to the shooting, they had stopped briefly at a gas station in Dona Ana, NM, and upon leaving, another vehicle, later identified as a Honda sedan, followed them onto the Interstate. While on the interstate at least one occupant from the other vehicle shot a firearm at Archuleta’s vehicle. The Honda sedan then fled the area. Archuleta was struck by gunfire and was subsequently transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The Honda was located, and agents identified Daniel Ortiz as the driver of the vehicle on the night of the incident. Agents identified the passenger/shooter as Drake Armendariz.
New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents arrested Daniel Ortiz (16) and Drake Armendariz (16) on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, and Thursday, March 9, 2023, respectively. The two are charged with:
- Murder in the first degree.
- Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the first degree.
- Shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily injury.
- Conspiracy to commit shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily injury.
- Assault with intent to commit a violent felony.
- Conspiracy to commit Assault with intent to commit a violent felony.
This case is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau.