MMA pro fights four gang members during home invasion, kills one


Professional MMA fighter Joe Torrez fended off four gang members, two armed, during a home invasion.

A professional MMA fighter in Las Crucez, New Mexico, killed a man while defending his home against four gang members, two armed with knives, on New Year’s Day.

Joe Torrez, 27, was home with his two-year-old son, his fiancé and her sister, and another woman when four men forced their way into his mobile home around 2 a.m. One intruder was armed with a wooden shank, while another took a knife from Torrez’ kitchen. The ensuing altercation left one of the suspects dead, and another severely injured, Las Cruces Sun-News reports.

Doña Ana sheriff’s deputies found Sal Garces, 25, stabbed and beaten outside a nearby residence. He died on scene. Nathan Avalos, 20, was transported to an El Paso hospital to be treated for “severe” facial injuries. Sal Garces’ 19-year-old brother, Raymond Garces, and 22-year-old Leonard Calvillo fled the scene.


Sal Garces, left, was found stabbed and beaten to death near Torrez’ house. Raymond Garces, center, and Leonard Calvillo fled the scene.

The attack may have been premeditated. According to Torrez’ attorney, C.J. McElhinney, his fiancé’s sister was “jumped” prior to coming home that night, and Torrez received death threats over the phone.

“I’m big Eastside,” Calvillo told Torrez. “I’ll kill you and your family … I will go to your house.”

Both Raymond Garces and Calvillo were arrested and face multiple felony charges. Avalos has not yet been charged, however, authorities are still investigating the crime.

Torrez only suffered minor injuries, but his attorney said he may be facing charges as well.

[ Las Cruces Sun-News ]

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