A Carlsbad man was charged with second degree murder accused of discharging the shotgun which fatally struck Christopher Jeffrey Mills in the head Oct. 23, a criminal complaint filed by the Carlsbad Police Department stated.
Police allege R’Jay Chavez-Gonzales, 21, shot Mills during an argument in which Mills accused Chavez-Gonzales of being “a snitch,” read the criminal complaint. The Current-Argus was unable to confirm that Chavez-Gonzales was acting as an informant or in an capacity for any law enforcement agency.
“A witness heard the victim say, ‘so you’re a snitch,’ after making the statement the shotgun went off,” read a court document field by the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s office.
“Further the defendant admitted to handling the shotgun when it went off. The shotgun was recovered, and the scene secured,” court documents stated.
Police and prosecutors contend Gonzales-Chavez fled the scene after he was confronted by another person at the home where the incident took place. The relationship between Mills and Chavez-Gonzales is unclear. Witnesses said the shooting occurred during a group gathering at the home.
The owner of the weapon is unclear, though the residence was listed as the home of Chavez-Gonzales in the criminal complaint.
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator reported Mills was shot at close range during a medical examination at Carlsbad Medical Center, according to the criminal complaint.
A CT scan allegedly revealed shotgun pellets in Mills head. He was pronounced dead at Carlsbad Medical Center, the criminal complaint cited.
Chavez-Gonzales was arrested Oct. 23 at 4:34 p.m. by Carlsbad police and was booked into the Eddy County Detention Center at 1:13 a.m. on Oct. 24, according to online jail records.
He is being held on no bail and no bond.
Chavez-Gonzales was also charged with failure to appear on a 2020 case, unrelated to the shooting.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.