Portales police investigating homicide

By Sharna Johnson

A 25-year-old Portales man died of multiple stab wounds Monday night in a fight that spanned more than a block.

Marco Bonilla was transported to Roosevelt General Hospital just after 9 p.m. and died of his injuries, Deputy Police Chief Lonnie Berry said in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon.

Police “absolutely” have a suspect but aren’t disclosing information about who it might be or the circumstances.

“We can’t say too much until we get some more interviews done,” Berry said Tuesday evening, explaining an arrest is expected.

“We are working towards that end right now.”

The stabbing took place in the roadway in the 200 block of Ivy Street, Berry said.

Three other males were injured in the altercation.

Leroy Salas, 53, and Lucio Ramirez, 22, both of Portales, were admitted for treatment at RGH. Marvin Silva, 34, of Belen, was treated and released Berry said.

Tuesday afternoon, police said they were not sure what caused the fight and were working to determine that.

“We’re still wrapping things up and processing the crime scene,” Berry said.

“It was a fight that took place, that’s pretty much all we can say at this point.”

Berry said that the investigation was coming together well.

“We’re ready to progress with it,” he said.

“We feel pretty confident we’ll be making some good moves.”

The crime scene started in the 200 block of Ivy Street in western Portales and moved through about a block and a half. Berry said a residence in the 400 block of Main Avenue is considered one of the crime scenes.

Betty Dominguez said she moved to the 200 block of Ivy Street about six months ago to care for her step-mother, who has lived there for some time.

There was a lot of activity in the neighborhood Tuesday morning, and Dominguez said police were working around some blood on a wall at a building down the street. However, she said she wasn’t sure what had occurred.

The neighborhood has mostly older residents, but Dominguez said it has been going downhill in recent years as a younger crowd has moved in.

“There’s some people here — druggies,” she said.

Virginia Meeks, who also lives in the 200 block of Ivy Street, said she had seen the police activity down the street, but didn’t know what was going on.

Meeks said she was concerned because, as a 38-year resident of the neighborhood, she feared she might know the people involved.

She said it is a decent neighborhood.

“I’ve never had no problems,” Meeks said.

Bonillo’s death marks the first homicide in Portales this year. There was one homicide in 2008, the July stabbing death of 69-year-old Don Chapman.