Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Investigation details revealed in December 6 Tucumcari shooting

TUCUMCARI (KSMX)- The New Mexico State Police’s investigation of the Dec. 6 murder-suicide at the Tucumcari Pizza Hut has uncovered the detailed story in a 51- page report the Quay County Sun obtained last week

The man who shot and killed a manager of a Tucumcari restaurant last month apologized to customers after the attack and said no harm would come to them before he fatally turned the gun on himself in the parking lot.

Two friends of the assailant said he found out earlier that day his girlfriend had been “cheating” on him with the manager and was going to drive to the restaurant to confront him. The friends spent 30 minutes trying to persuade him to “not do anything stupid” and took away his vehicle keys, but he called another friend who picked him up and took him to the restaurant.

State troopers interviewed witnesses, employees, first responders and customers at the restaurant. State police took over the investigation from Tucumcari police the night of the shootings.

The attack just outside the restaurant killed Pizza Hut Manager Jimmy Ray Chavez, 37, of Tucumcari. The attacker, Felipe “Flip” Anaya, 23, of Tucumcari shot himself in the head moments afterward and died the next day at an Amarillo hospital.

Investigators found 10 bullet cartridges, two magazines and a Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol at the scene. Two of the bullets or bullet fragments hit the outside wall of the building, leaving indentations.

A pathologist at the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque conducted a preliminary autopsy on Chavez days later with a state trooper present. She found five bullets in his body and a sixth bullet in his shirt. She found a total of 31 wounds or defects from the bullets or bullet fragments. She said the cause of death came from a bullet that struck him in the left temple.

Final results of autopsies on Chavez and Anaya won’t be known for several more weeks, pending toxicology results.

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