A basketball star in New Mexico has been suspended for shooting a forward.
New Mexico State junior offensive lineman Mike Peek was involved in an altercation during the school’s football game against rival New Mexico in October. While the schools played basketball against each other on the New Mexico campus, Peake was “tricked” into what he thought was sex by a 17-year-old girl and ambushed by three men. Pike was attacked with a baseball bat while fleeing. He returned fire and killed one of the attackers.
New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia confirmed to the Las Cruces Sun News that Peake has been suspended indefinitely.
“I can’t comment on his student status, or the school administration can’t comment on his student status, but Mike has been suspended from the program indefinitely pending the university process and the ongoing investigation,” Moccia said.
The incident occurred on November 19, but the suspension was not announced until Monday.
“If there is criticism, I am ready to accept it, but I felt that – I do not have access to specific information – but when a person is going through several procedures, I felt that it was not the right time to announce it.”, said Moccia.
Peake has not been charged with a crime in the incident. The teenage girl who tempted him was charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy, and one of the surviving attackers was charged with aggravated battery, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The scheduled game did not take place on November 19, and after the incident, the New Mexico State basketball team left the New Mexico campus on their bus while police sought to interview Peek and recover the firearm.
According to ABC’s New Mexico affiliate KOAT, police wanted to speak with New Mexico State head coach Greg Heyer and assistant Dominic Taylor. Heiar reportedly said he did not know where the gun was.
“I stressed to Coach Taylor how important it was to retrieve the gun and other items that were placed in the trunk,” State Police Trooper David Esquibel said in a report on the incident. “I asked him to let me know if he found any information about the Camaro [that Peake was seen approaching to meet three teammates]gun or something and he said that.
State police arrived at the bus, but the coaches refused to allow any of the players to be interviewed without a lawyer present. Investigators eventually found the firearm on Taylor at a hotel in Albuquerque; he was wrapped in a towel.
New Mexico State officials have declined to say whether the basketball coaches are under investigation.