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Preliminary Info from Investigation Reveals Las Cruces Suspect was Armed with Handgun


Las Cruces police and the Officer-involved Incident Task Force continue to investigate the Sept. 23 shooting on Lees Drive that resulted in the arrest of 34-year-old Charles R. Campolla.

Campolla was charged with a third-degree felony count of aggravated assault upon a peace officer. Investigators learned that Compolla was in possession of a firearm while having an order of protection actively on file against him, so additional charges are possible.

Preliminary information from the investigation indicates that about 3:47 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, Las Cruces police officers were dispatched to the report of a domestic incident in progress at Campolla’s residence, on the 1300 block of Lees Drive. The caller, a 14-year-old girl, indicated that Campolla was intoxicated and in possession of a loaded handgun.

The investigation has revealed that three LCPD officers arrived at the home and two of them heard Campolla racking the gun’s slide. As one of the officers approached, he spotted Campolla outside the home and in possession of a handgun. Video from lapel cameras indicates that officers gave multiple commands for Campolla to drop the weapon and show his hands.

The investigation indicates that Campolla pointed the gun at one of the officers as the suspect attempted to hide near the front, driver’s-side of a vehicle that was parked in the driveway. The officer, who has been with LCPD for two years, fired three rounds that struck the rear of the vehicle. Campolla was not struck and no injuries were reported. The investigation has revealed that Campolla was taken into custody without further incident.

The Glock 9mm handgun Campolla had in his possession was ultimately located by investigators under the front, driver’s-side wheel well and resting on the tire. During an interview with investigators, Campolla indicated he was in possession of the firearm as officers approached.

Campolla was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center on Sept. 23 and released Sept. 27 on a $1,500 cash or surety bond.

The incident remains under investigation by the Officer-involved Incident Task Force which includes detectives from New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State University Police. Upon completion of the investigation, findings are turned over the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office for review.

Information from Las Cruces Police