LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State basketball coach Greg Heiar says he feels responsible for a fatal shooting that involved one of his players and has offered condolences to the family and friends of the deceased University of New Mexico student.
Heiar gave a news conference Tuesday and commented for the first time about the Nov. 19 shooting on the UNM campus in Albuquerque.
State police investigators said 19-year-old Brandon Travis conspired with two other students and a teenage girl to lure New Mexico State University forward Mike Peake onto campus, leading to a shootout that left the student dead and the 21-year-old player wounded.
Peake and his Aggies teammates were in Albuquerque to play their archrivals and the shooting resulted in the cancellation of the two NMSU men’s basketball games against UNM this season.
“I’m apologetic about what happened. I take full responsibility for what happened,” Heiar said. “We are going to continue to get better as a basketball team and put a great product on the court. I take full responsibility. I can’t say anything more than that.”
Heiar deferred to the school administration’s statements last week regarding discipline for players who have been identified as participating in an Oct. 15 brawl at the UNM-NMSU football game in Las Cruces that police now say was the precursor to the revenge plot.
The coach didn’t say how many players also broke curfew in Albuquerque in the hours before the shooting or identify them.
“I will say we found out we had multiple players out of their rooms that night and we are now confident that each of our players fully understand what is expected of them moving forward,” Heiar said.
Heiar said the decisions Peake made “resulted in consequences that he will have to live with for the rest of his life.”
But Heiar added that Peake is “still part of our family” and “right now, he needs us more than ever.”
Heiar said Peake is recovering after being wounded in the shootout.
Peake has posted on social media that he has had three surgeries.