2 teens charged in deadly shooting at Hobbs Walmart

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 10:53 AM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2023 at 3:07 PM CDT
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HOBBS, New Mexico (KCBD) - Hobbs police now have now charged two suspects in connection with a deadly shooting in a Walmart parking lot.

The driver was identified as 18-year-old Zachary Baiza. The shooter is considered a juvenile, but may be tried as an adult.

Officers responded to the parking lot of the Walmart on Lovington Hwy. for reports of a shooting just after 2 a.m. on Thursday. When they arrived, they found 24-year-old Jordan Ruiz with a gunshot wound.

Ruiz was taken to Covenant Hobbs Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

Investigators believe Ruiz knew the shooter and that the incident was “not a random act of violence.”

Authorities were able to find a license plate number from surveillance footage and sent an alert to surrounding agencies. Deputies in Reeves County identified the vehicle and were able to stop it after a 111-mile chase across three Texas counties.

Surveillance footage from surrounding businesses showed the suspects involved in the theft of a wallet from IHOP around midnight and showed one of the suspects brandishing a weapon at the McDonald’s drive-thru about 10 minutes before the shooting. No one came to the window, so employees didn’t notice, and this was not reported as a robbery.

Footage shows the suspects circling the Walmart parking lot several times before approaching Ruiz.

The male juvenile shooter has been charged with first degree murder and attempt to commit armed robbery. New Mexico authorities are seeking to try the male juvenile shooter as an adult.

Baiza is charged as an accessory to first degree murder, accessory to commit armed robbery, larceny, receiving or transferring stolen vehicles.

Baiza is also facing charges in Texas of evading on foot. The shooter has been charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle and fleeing on foot.

The female juvenile is not facing any charges.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Hobbs dispatch at (575) 397-9265 or the Lea County Crime Stoppers at (575) 393-8005. Hobbs police will also be periodically checking their Facebook messages.

A cash reward may be available for relevant information.