Home News Local News Suspect in fatal shooting located, arrested

Suspect in fatal shooting located, arrested

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A man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting earlier this month was found and arrested over the weekend by Roswell police.

Christopher Smiley, 32, of Roswell, was located Saturday at about 9:30 p.m. in the area of Bland Street and Atkinson Avenue when an officer stopped a vehicle he was in that had an expired registration, Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the Roswell Police Department, said.

“He was ordered out of the vehicle and arrested on a warrant for murder in a case handled by the CCSO (Chaves County Sheriff’s Office),” Wildermuth said.

Electronic court records state the District Attorney’s Office for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District on Monday filed a motion to hold Smiley in pretrial detention pending trial. No date for a hearing on the motion had been set as of presstime Monday.

Smiley was wanted on charges of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; and tampering with evidence in connection with the May 2 death of 27-year-old Bret Austin Patrick.

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Patrick was shot multiple times in the neck and torso at about 8 p.m. while parked outside of the Allsup’s convenience store at 6000 South Main Street.

According to court records, Patrick pulled up to a gas pump to pick someone up when he saw Smiley parked at another gas pump nearby. Patrick, who knew Smiley, then exited his vehicle and called out to Smiley, who then allegedly shot Patrick.

One woman later told police Smiley then aimed the gun at her before numerous bystanders rushed over to the victim and attempted to administer CPR to him. Patrick subsequently died from his injuries.

Smiley then immediately got into the Hyundai Sonata he was driving and sped off.

Court records state that soon after the shooting, a Hyundai Sonata was found abandoned at milepost 4 on the Relief Route in the southbound lane. Fresh footprints were found at the scene leading from the vehicle and into an open field. A deputy later observed fresh dig marks and what appeared to be dirt covering some holes behind a bush in the field.

With permission from the owner of the property, court records state, the deputy reportedly uncovered a Smith and Wesson six-shot revolver with all but one round fired, a black hat, two shirts, four plastic bags containing a large but undetermined volume of narcotics and the key to a Hyundai vehicle.

The deputy later placed the key found in the field in the ignition of the Hyundai abandoned on the relief route and the vehicle was able to start using that specific key, according to court documents.

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