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

By Grant McGee
The Staff of The News 

Clovis man charged in fatal shooting


Last updated 9/24/2022 at 12:09pm

Photo courtesy Clovis Police Department


CLOVIS — Joe Suniga, 48, became Clovis’ seventh homicide victim this year early Wednesday morning.

He died shortly after being brought to Plains Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his chest.

Later Wednesday, police charged Victor Corral, 33, with first-degree murder in connection with Suniga’s death.

Court records show Corral called Suniga’s niece shortly after the shooting and left a voice mail in which he said he “doesn’t know what happened.”

Records show Suniga was brought to the hospital after 3:10 a.m. Wednesday by his niece Elizabeth Villa, 33, and Joey Gallegos, 49. He died at the hospital as a result of his gunshot wounds, police said.

Villa told Investigator Adriana Munoz of the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office that she had been with Corral at a local fast-food restaurant around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

After eating, Villa said she and Corral went to Corral’s house on Missouri Street. She spent some time cleaning at Corral’s house, then reported she heard gunshots.

She said she went to Corral’s room where she found Suniga on the floor bleeding.

Villa said she and Gallegos took Suniga to the hospital in her vehicle.

After getting a search warrant for Villa’s phone, court records show police found messages between Villa and Corral and a voicemail left by Corral at 3:09 a.m. in which he talks about “he doesn’t know what happened.”

In the court records, police say in the voicemail Corral sounds “nervous, scared and panicky.”

Corral is heard on the voicemail talking about “having the gun in his hand … shooting twice … he didn’t know what happened” then he is heard apologizing and crying, court records show.

A search of the home at 314 Missouri revealed blood and two 9mm shell casings.

Late Wednesday morning, police named Corral as a person of interest in Suniga’s death, then declared he was a suspect.

Corral was located in a house in the 300 block of 12th Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Clovis Police Department’s SWAT team was brought in to apprehend him, records show. Corral was called out by police and he emerged from the house within minutes without incident.

He remained Friday afternoon in custody in the Curry County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Corral was arraigned before Clovis Magistrate Judge Janemarie Vander Dussen Friday who told the court no plea was expected at that time.

Vander Dussen said a plea is expected at a date to be set in the next five days in a pre-trial detention hearing.


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