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Roswell man charged in fatal shooting

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A man captured Monday by the Roswell Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service was served Tuesday with an arrest warrant in a recent fatal shooting.

Jeffrey Contreras (Submitted Photo)

The warrant charges Jeffrey Contreras, 25, of Roswell with one count each of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate; tampering with evidence; and felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of Anthony Vasquez, 57, of Roswell, according to a press release issued Wednesday by RPD.

Court Records for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court state that a motion for pre-trial detention and concurrent preliminary hearing in the case are scheduled for Feb. 25.

Contreras, who was arrested Monday at 12:30 p.m. at a 2100 block of North Main Street motel on a probation violation, was served the warrant Tuesday while housed at the Chaves County Detention Center. As of Wednesday, he was being held at the facility on separate bonds, including one set at $250,000 in relation to Vasquez’s death.

Vasquez was shot in the upper back on the morning of Feb. 5 in an RV trailer in which he lived on a 600 block of South Missouri Avenue property, the release states. Several rounds were fired into the RV trailer where Vasquez was with his girlfriend at the time. Vasquez’s girlfriend was not struck by any of the shots.

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Though he was still alive when first responders arrived and was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, Vasquez died from his wound.

According to the release, RPD investigators believe that Contreras rode in a vehicle driven by another person to a property next to Vasquez’s RV trailer and got out of the vehicle. He then fired numerous rounds from a rifle into the trailer before getting back in the vehicle, which drove away.

The rifle was discovered days later in an Albuquerque apartment of a relative of Contreras, where it is believed he traveled in the days after the shooting.

Investigators believe Contreras may have shot Vasquez to keep him from possibly talking to police about a homicide that is being investigated by the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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