On November 26 at around 11:30 a.m. New Mexico State Police officers were dispatched to the La Tiendita store on New Mexico State Road 68 near mile post 8 in Alcalde for an individual who was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.
State Police officers arrived to find Thomas Derick Velarde, 58, of Velarde, deceased with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau agents were assigned to conduct the subsequent investigation.
Timothy Lopez, 53, of Velarde, who was still on scene, was determined to be the suspect in the shooting. Lopez was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Rio Arriba County Detention Center and charged with Murder in the 1st Degree and Aggravated Assault.
This case is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau with no additional information currently available. At the conclusion of the investigation all evidence and reports will be submitted to the appropriate district attorney review.