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Hobbs police charge two suspects in Thursday shooting

The juvenile shooter was charged with first degree murder and attempt to commit armed robbery.


The Hobbs Police Department announced Thursday night that three suspects were arrested in connection to a deadly shooting early Thursday morning. 

According to HPD, around 2:07 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Walmart located at 3800 N. Lovington Hwy in reference to shots being fired. 

Upon their arrival, they found 24-year-old Jordan Ruiz, of Hobbs, in the parking lot with an apparent gunshot wound. Ruiz was taken to Covenant Hobbs Hospital, where he later died from his injuries. 

After investigating, police said they didn’t believe the shooting was a random act of violence and that the suspects may have known the victim. 

In a press conference Thursday evening, investigators requested that residents in the area of Joe Harvey Boulevard and Camino Real look through any security camera footage from 2-3 a.m. for anything suspicious. 

They also pointed out that there were many people in the parking lot when the shooting happened and asked anyone with information to come forward. 

Detectives reviewed surveillance footage of the area and were able to see a license plate on the vehicle driven by the suspects, which was stolen out of Hobbs. 

A “BOLO,” or “be on look-out" was given to surrounding agencies for the vehicle. 

Deputies with the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office found the vehicle and attempted to stop it. The vehicle fled from them, and a pursuit followed. The high-speed pursuit lasted for 111 miles across three counties. 

According to the Culberson County Sheriff's Office, the driver avoided the spike strips and led the deputies to Main Street in Van Horn. The vehicle eventually went back to Interstate 10 and the vehicle went off to Sierra Blanca, Texas before deputies eventually stopped the vehicle and all three suspects were arrested. 

One suspect was an 18-year-old man, later identified as Zachary Baiza, and the other two were juveniles. 

Police said there are no outstanding suspects at this time, and all three suspects who were arrested are facing charges in New Mexico. 

In a press conference held Friday afternoon, HPD said after reviewing surveillance footage officers discovered the shooter from the incident had attempted to rob a McDonald's on Lovington Hwy about 10 minutes before the shooting took place. 

Video showed that the shooter went to the drive-thru window with a gun, however no employees went to the window. Employees didn't know the incident was taking place and therefore was not reported to law enforcement.

The shooter drove around the Walmart parking lot, eventually stopping at Ruiz's car.

The police also let it be known that they received a report around midnight on May 18 of a theft of a wallet from a waiter at IHOP.

Surveillance footage was not available until the evening of May 18, and after reviewing the IHOP footage, the suspect matched the description of the suspect involved in the murder. 

The names of the shooter and the third party involved will not be released due to them being juveniles.

The 18-year-old male was identified as Zachary Baiza. He is known to be the driver of the car and has been charged in New Mexico with accessory to first degree murder, accessory to commit armed robbery, larceny, and receiving or transferring stolen vehicles.

The shooter, unnamed due to them being a juvenile, is charged with first degree murder and attempt to commit armed robbery. Documentation will be submitted to try the juvenile shooter as an adult.

In the state of Texas, Baiza was charged with evading on foot. The shooter was charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle and fleeing on foot. 

The female juvenile is not currently facing any criminal charges in the state of New Mexico or Texas.

It's possible for additional charges to be filed at a later date.

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