New Mexico women's basketball freshman Brooke Berry left the program this week because of gun violence concerns in Albuquerque. Her decision comes shortly after the men's basketball rivalry game against the New Mexico State Aggies was postponed -- and eventually canceled -- because of aon the UNM campus.
Around 3 a.m. on Saturday, ahead of the Rio Grande Rivalry game, NMSU forward Mike Peake snuck out of his hotel and was part of a shooting that resulted in the death of a 19-year-old UNM student. That incident was not the first one Berry was aware of since she joined the Lobos earlier this year.
On an Instagram post, Berry said she was thankful for the last six months at UNM, but explained her reason for leaving.
"Due to the [two] shootings that have occurred at my apartment complex, as well as the on-campus shooting, I am saddened to say that I will be leaving the University of New Mexico," she wrote. "My family and I feel this is the best decision for me and my safety. I will be entering the transfer portal and weighing my options within the next couple of weeks."
Berry's mother, Amy Berry, told Ken Sickenger from the Albuquerque Journal that Saturday's incident was "the last straw."
"Brooke really likes the basketball team, and she wanted to stick it out, but she was scared," she said. "She called us Sunday morning crying and said, 'I want to come home,' so her dad and I drove down 14 hours to get her. If something happened to her, we'd never forgive ourselves."
Berry arrived in New Mexico from Billings, Mont. She lived at Lobo Village, a student-housing complex just west of the UNM basketball arena, otherwise known as The Pit. The two previous incidents happened close enough to Berry for her to be concerned for her safety.
"Brooke called when a shooting was happening, and she was hiding in the bathtub," the mother told the Journal. "I was thinking, 'This is crazy.'"
After Berry's departure, 14 players remain on the New Mexico roster, but only 12 are active as freshmen Natalia Chavez and Hannah Robbins are redshirting.
Because of Saturday's incident, the men's team will not be playing NMSU this season. The Lobo women's team is still scheduled to host the Aggies on Dec. 11.
"We understand there might be some more feelings associated, but we hope this is a great opportunity for our fans and their fans to come in and show not just this game, but show New Mexico and show the country that we can come together and do this right," UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez said on Tuesday.