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Las Cruces-Area Murder Suspect Arrested; Victim Identified


 A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder after a homicide investigation that started early Tuesday morning in the 5900 block of Derby Avenue.

      According to court documents filed by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives, Rocky Armendariz is charged with first-degree murder after allegedly shooting  35-year-old Christopher Lauster.

      Lauster was reportedly at the home with at least two other people when Armendariz allegedly showed up and confronted Lauster. An argument ensued, and reportedly became physical. A witness who was on the property told detectives he heard a gunshot and found Lauster laying on the ground. 

Lauster was transported to a Las Cruces-area hospital with a gunshot wound to the left arm, but succumbed to his injuries shortly after he arrived.

Late Tuesday night, detectives questioned Armendariz, who had an outstanding warrant for a probation violation. He was later transported to the Doña Ana County Detention Center on the probation violation. 

As the investigation continued Wednesday, detectives questioned additional people who were close to both parties and collected enough evidence to charge Armendariz with murder. He was rebooked on the updated charge Wednesday afternoon.

Information from Doña Ana County