NMSU's Greg Heiar Told Police He Feared For Family's Safety After Fatal UNM Shooting

Adam WellsDecember 10, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 21:  Assistant coach Greg Heiar signals his players during the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Yale Bulldogs at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

New Mexico State head basketball coach Greg Heiar feared retaliation in the aftermath of the fatal shooting involving one of his players at the University of New Mexico last month.

In body cam footage from the New Mexico State Police Department obtained by ESPN's Myron Medcalf, Heiar told Officer David Esquibel he was concerned for the "safety" of his family and players.

Heiar spoke with Esquibel hours after New Mexico State's Mike Peake shot and killed University of New Mexico student Brandon Travis on Nov. 19. Police have deemed the shooting to be self-defense.

Heiar said his concern stemmed from his wife and daughter being at the game in the same location where a New Mexico student was shot.

"I'm worried about my wife and daughter just being at the game," he told Esquibel. "A student shot...people say, a New Mexico State basketball player shot a student. That's not going to go over well in front of 15,000 people. This is about the safety of everybody. That's where I'm at."

A game between New Mexico State and New Mexico at The Pit was scheduled to take place Nov. 19, but it was postponed as a result of the shooting, which took place in the early hours of gameday.

According to New Mexico State police (h/t Medcalf), Peake said he was "lured" to the campus by four University of New Mexico students before an altercation led to the shooting.

"Through investigation, agents later learned that Travis had conspired with a 17-year-old female and two of Travis's male friends, all UNM students, to lure the 21-year-old victim to UNM campus and assault him," the police said in a statement.

Peake was also shot in the incident, but he was listed in stable condition. New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia announced this week that Peake has been indefinitely suspended from the basketball team and an independent investigator will be hired to review the events surrounding the shooting.

The 17-year-old girl involved has been charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy. Police are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of two other male suspects.