Las Cruces man killed in accidental shooting while hunting

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A Las Cruces man was accidentally shot and killed while turkey hunting with friends in the Lincoln National Forest.

Chad Steven Henneman, 45, was on a hunting trip with his fiancée, Marcena Flynn, and a friend — all of Las Cruces — in the forest near New Mexico Highway 37 on April 25 when the incident occurred. He was an active-duty Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection agent.

According to documents released by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Flynn said the couple returned to their truck while the other friend remained on a mountain to hunt, but Henneman reportedly started back toward his friend. Flynn heard a turkey gobble, followed soon after by a gunshot. She told authorities that when she walked back to the pair, Henneman was on the ground receiving chest compressions from the friend.

Deputy Kelley Iversen reported that Henneman appeared to have a shotgun wound to the chest and was unresponsive. He was declared deceased at the scene.

No charges have been filed in connection with this incident.

According to an obituary printed in the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune in Washington, Henneman was born in Tonasket, Washington, and grew up on his parents’ ranch working with cattle and horses. He long enjoyed camping trips, fishing and hunting.

He moved to Texas in 2009 and began working as a U.S. Border Patrol agent — even receiving the honor of Border Patrol Agent of the Year. Flynn told the Sun-News that she met Henneman seven years ago through a mutual friend while he was stationed in Marfa.

He moved to Las Cruces in 2020, working with CBP’s Intelligence Special Operations Group, and partnered with his fiancé to start a horse boarding business.

Henneman is survived by his 7-year-old son, Beau; parents, Steve and Marcia; sister, Lesli Koplin and her husband, Jeff; fiancée, nieces, grandparents and numerous family members and friends, according to the obituary. He was buried in Wauconda Cemetery in a family plot.

A gathering is reportedly scheduled for October at the Border Patrol Museum in El Paso to honor Henneman’s life.

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