The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

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By David Stevens
The Staff of The News 

Clovis man charged with murder


Last updated 5/29/2022 at 9:33am


CLOVIS — Manuel Rodriguez was dying from multiple gunshot wounds when he told bystanders who were trying to help him, “Amanda’s boyfriend did this to me.”

Amanda, police believe, was likely Amanda Arguijo, the one-time girlfriend of Ray Gomez. Family members of the victim helped police locate Arguijo and Gomez, and on May 15 Gomez was arrested on warrants unrelated to Rodriguez’s shooting.

On Friday, still jailed on the unrelated warrants, Gomez, 49, was charged with first-degree murder, accused of shooting Rodriguez.

Clovis Police Lt. Trevor Thron said charges of aggravated battery and child abuse against Gomez were from November.

“He had those warrants outstanding but nobody had located him until we knocked on his door on the 15th,” Thron said. “We were still trying to shore up some stuff with more interviews (related to the homicide) and we finally got all the data together (Thursday) and he was charged (with murder) on Friday.”

Rodriguez, 43, was found with multiple gunshot wounds on May 11 outside a home in the 900 block of Edwards Street. He died the next day in a Lubbock hospital.

Court records show police saw “blood droplets” outside Gomez’s home when they attempted to contact him on May 15. Gomez’s home is about two blocks from where Rodriguez was shot, records show.

Police obtained a search warrant for Gomez’s home, based on the blood droplets, and he was arrested on the outstanding warrants, records show, while the homicide investigation continued.

Police initially believed a woman named Amanda Rodarte could have been the Amanda referenced in Rodriguez’s dying words. But after issuing a public announcement that they wanted to talk to Rodarte, police found her and determined she was not involved in the shooting.

Amanda Arguijo told police she was no longer seeing Gomez and did not know anything about the homicide. She said she had been friends with the victim since childhood.

Records also show Gomez and Rodriguez were friends, though Gomez said he had not seen Rodriguez in weeks. Gomez told police the last time he’d seen Rodriguez was at Gomez’s home when Rodriguez’s “knuckle was busted up and he was bleeding from his wound.” Gomez said that may have been Rodriguez’s blood inside and outside Gomez’s home that police found.

Records show police attempted to follow a blood trail from Gomez’s home to the area where Rodriguez was shot. “There is a large gap in the blood trail,” records show.

In addition to blood evidence, police collected cell phone and social media records from Gomez. Records show “he was in a hurry to clean up his house” and leave prior to the shooting.

Gomez was being held without bond on Friday in the Curry County Adult Detention Center.

The Rodriguez slaying was the fourth this year that Curry-Roosevelt county officials have investigated as homicides.

Suspects have been identified and arrested in all four cases and are awaiting trial.

This story was edited to reflect an amended arrest affidavit that corrected the time for Gomez's cell phone and social media records.

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