New Mexico State forward Mike Peake has been suspended indefinitely for his involvement in a shooting that resulted in the death of a University of New Mexico student in November, its athletic director confirmed Monday. Peake has not been charged with a crime, and there is no update on his status as a student at NMSU.
New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia and coach Greg Heiar made the decision to suspend Peake before this week, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News, but didn't want to make the disciplinary action public while Peake was recovering from a gunshot wound in the leg from the incident. Last week, Peake posted on social media that he has had three surgeries.
"If there is criticism, I'm more than willing to take that, but I felt that -- while I can't get into specifics -- but while an individual is going through multiple procedures, I felt that's not the appropriate time for that announcement," Moccia told the Sun-News.
Peake took a gun on the team bus when traveling to Albuquerque for the Rio Grande rivalry game against the Lobos. In the early hours of Nov. 19, he snuck out of the hotel and went to the UNM campus. Heiar said during a press conference last week that he was not the only player who left the room without permission that night.
NMSP reported that the 21-year-old Peake was "lured" by a 17-year-old female who conspired with three males to bring him on campus and assault him. One of those males was Brandon Travis, the 19-year-old UNM student who died during the altercation. Travis, who had a gun, confronted and shot Peake -- who then shot him with a different firearm. The female and the other two males fled the scene. Per NMSP, the female was arrested and booked into the juvenile detention center and charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy.
Peake had been involved in a fight during a football game at the Aggie Memorial Stadium in October, which police reports said started the whole incident. The investigation is still active.
"I'm apologetic about what happened. I take full responsibility for what happened," Heiar said last week. "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."
Both in-state rivalry games for men's basketball have been canceled this season. The women's teams are still scheduled to play in Albuquerque on Dec. 11.