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Names of the four people killed during a suspected murder-suicide in La Junta released

Murder-suicide La Junta
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 18, 2024

LA JUNTA — The Otero County Coroner's Office has released the names of the four people who were killed during a suspected murder-suicide in La Junta.

The names and ages are listed below:

  • Andrew Martinez Chavez, 30
  • Rhyle King, 24
  • Xena Gabriella Martinez-King, 2
  • Xander Martinez-King, 1

Background Information

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the La Junta Police Department are investigating an apparent murder-suicide inside a home on Smithland Avenue.

The CBI said La Junta Police officers responded to the home around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, and found two adults and one child shot dead.

Murder-suicide in La Junta Colorado
A house where the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said an apparent murder-suicide took place in La Junta. CBI says three people were found dead and another later died at a Denver area hospital.

The agency said another child was taken to a Denver-area hospital where they later died.

La Teasha Ortega and Ramona Garcia said they were friends of the mother, later identified as King, who was killed inside the home.

They said she lived there with her two children. Police have not confirmed who the shooter was, but Ortega and Garcia said it was their friend's ex-husband, Martinez Chavez.

"She wanted out of the marriage. She left and she fought so hard to get away. When she finally did she was starting to become happy again... I don't know if it's just something he couldn't handle or just wasn't ready to let go of yet," said Garcia.

Ruben Romero, a neighbor living two doors down the street, said the woman who was killed, later identified as King, had recently told him to watch out for her ex-partner. He said he immediately knew she was in danger when he heard gunshots near his home Tuesday night.

"She told me he's not supposed to be here. I'm like, 'He came back,'” Romero said. "He could've took out more people if he wanted to be on a rampage or something. I don't know his mental state but it seemed like he knew what he was doing. He came here for one thing and it was to end life."

If you or someone you know is in crisis, remember you are not alone. The State of Colorado offers the following crisis resources:

  • Call 844-493-TALK (8255)
  • Text TALK to 38255

To access 988, the nationwide mental health and substance use helpline:

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