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HPD investigating shooting incidents

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The Hobbs Police Department is currently investigating two separate shootings that occurred within a 12-hour window including shots being fired in the direction of officers conducting a traffic stop.

Around 6 p.m. Monday, Hobbs police responded to the Snyder and Jefferson Street intersection after a shots fired report. Witnesses told authorities a red pickup and black pickup “exchanged” gunfire in the middle of the intersection, but they were not found. HPD detectives secured leads on the identities of those involved.

An employee with Hobbs Head Start, a childcare facility near the intersection, confirmed Wednesday all children had been picked up by the time of Monday’s shooting, and said police didn’t inform them about what happened. The employee added she didn’t know there was a shooting at that time.

“We didn’t know until later that night when we saw something posted (online),” she said. “They had the corner blocked off — but it was at the corner of the Fletcher Center and Fowler and Snyder — so, they had that blocked off. We didn’t even know what was going on.”

The incident prompted concerned phone calls from parents who wanted to know how close it was, she said.

“My concern was that evening when I got home and I got on Facebook,” the employee said. “I started seeing all of the posts on Facebook about it being a shooting. And I was thinking: ‘Oh my God, what if we would have had kids late that evening?’ We do have some parents that don’t pick up ‘til 6 (p.m.). Just thank God that everybody was picked up by 5:45 … some days we do have kids here at 6:15.” The employee said she was “surprised” the police didn’t tell her what happened.

On Tuesday, around 4:30 a.m., Hobbs police officers located one of the “suspected parties” during a traffic stop. The driver was identified as a victim in Monday’s incident and had what police described as an “untreated, minor, gunshot wound.” The victim was treated for the wound at Lea Regional Medical Center.

“While officers were tending to the victim, an unknown individual fired two gunshots in the direction of the officers from the south alleyway of the 200 block of East Temple,” the department announced Wednesday. “Officers attempted to located the individual responsible, but no suspects were located.”

Hobbs police reported there were no injuries from shots fired in the officers’ direction. Two neighbors on Palace Street, Leslie Pfalzgraf and Elaine Reed, both say they heard gunshots despite the early hour.

“I was asleep and heard two shots that were really close and it really startled me,” Pfalzgraf said. “And my neighbor called and asked if I heard anything. I told her the same thing. My dogs were horrible that early morning.”

Pfalzgraf added police stayed in the area for “some time,” while Reed reported seeing officers with weapons drawn when she walked outside afterwards.

“The main thing is the cops were there early,” Reed said. “And we see them running with their assault rifles. They were there for a long time. I went outside and they said, ‘Please get back in your house.’”

Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall said no arrests have been made in either incident as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Both of those investigations are active,” he said.

Anyone with information about what happened is “urged” to contact Hobbs police at 575-397-9265 or Lea County Crime Stoppers at 575-393-8005.

Burkett Shaw
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