There is horrible news out of New Mexico today.  Two sheriff’s deputies who stopped to spend the night at a Las Cruces hotel after transporting a prisoner to Arizona got into a dispute that resulted in the unnamed 27-year-old deputy apparently murdering Deputy Jeremy Martin:

Las Cruces Police investigators have learned that the deputies were passing through Las Cruces after transporting a prisoner to a detention facility in Arizona. As the two were on their return trip to Santa Fe they rented a room just before 4 p.m. Monday at Hotel Encanto, 705 S. Telshor Blvd. Sometime Monday evening the two deputies went to Dublin’s Street Pub, at 1745 E. University Ave., where it’s believed they consumed alcohol and got into an argument.

At around midnight, or shortly thereafter, the two returned to Hotel Encanto and to their seventh floor room. The argument between the two quickly escalated and the 27-year-old deputy is believed to have fired several rounds from a semi-automatic weapon at Martin. Evidence indicates that the 27-year-old fired several rounds as Martin attempted to flee and enter an elevator, police said.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the shooting and arrived to find Martin bleeding profusely just outside the elevator in the hotel lobby. Officers rushed Martin to MountainView Regional Medical Center but attempts to save his life were unsuccessful. Martin had several gunshot wounds to his back and arms.

Meanwhile, LCPD officers at Hotel Encanto began the challenging task of looking for the shooter who was still believed to be in the seven-story hotel. Officers subsequently located the deputy in a stairwell near the roof of the hotel. He was taken into custody without further incident.

The consumption of alcohol while in the possession of firearms rarely ends well, and this is not the first time that an off-duty law enforcement officer has gotten liquored up and fired his weapon criminally. It is particularly shocking, however, that one deputy apparently murdered one another deputy, which is a far more rare occurrence.

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department has lost two deputies as a result of this incident.

No charges have been filed yet, but are expected soon.

Our prayers go out to the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department and to the family of Deputy Martin.