ROSWELL — The Roswell Police Department (RPD) has made an arrest in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred Saturday at the local Wal-Mart.
Officers were dispatched around 10:20 p.m. Saturday to the Wal-Mart in the 4500 block of North Main Street in reference to an altercation between two male subjects that ended in one of the subjects shooting the other.
Police found the victim, identified as 19-year-old Steve Soltero, inside the store. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to a local hospital, where he was soon after pronounced dead. The shooter, identified as 18-year-old Joshua Ray Martinez, had fled the store.
The RPD Criminal Investigations Division was able to review the store’s video surveillance footage, which showed Soltero and his girlfriend walking near the checkout lanes when Martinez began to follow them. When the couple turned and saw him, words were exchanged, and the parties were seen making hand gestures toward one another from a distance.
When Martinez reached the couple, shoving occurred, and the female attempted to punch Martinez. Soltero then walked down a nearby aisle. Martinez followed while retrieving a handgun from his backpack. He located Soltero behind a pallet of merchandise and opened fire.
Police say Martinez was an employee of Wal-Mart and was actively working a shift when the shooting occurred.
Responding law enforcement personnel — which included the RPD, Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police — evacuated the store and conducted a search of the building and a wide swath of the surrounding area but were unable to locate Martinez.
A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was located and taken into custody around 4:45 p.m. Monday at an apartment complex in the area of Southeast Main and Hobbs streets.
Martinez stands charged with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a handgun. He has yet to be arraigned.