Gunfight caused by social media post
LOVINGTON — An attempted home invasion and a shootout Tuesday involving nine young Lovington people was reportedly the result of the posting of a video on social media of a 14-year-old girl being beaten up.
The 14-year-old girl claimed she was drugged, set up and beaten the week of Oct. 1 and that the assault was recorded and posted online, according to Lovington police reports.
In retaliation, the girl’s boyfriend, Gabriel Sabastian Ruiz, 20, allegedly showed up to a trailer home Tuesday in Lovington with an AK-47 rifle and two friends.
Police said Ruiz gave a 9 mm handgun to 16-year-old boy, who was shot in the stomach during the gunfight and was airlifted to Lubbock, Texas, where he was hospitalized and placed in critical condition. There were no other reported injuries during the shootout.
The 14-year-old girl drove Ruiz, the 16-year-old, and Cristian A. Rivera, 24, to the home in the 300 block of North Eddy Street and waited for the group in Ruiz’s vehicle at a church nearby.
Early that day, two people listed as victims on a police report called authorities and said three men wearing masks were at a trailer banging on the door demanding to be let in. The men were gone by the time police arrived, but returned after officers left.
On the second emergency call, the dispatcher heard someone trying to kick in the front door and a series of gunshots coming from inside and outside the residence.
At some point, Ruiz allegedly shot at a woman in a vehicle who drove to the North Eddy Street residence to help one of the victims get out of the trailer.
Police found the 16-year-old boy suffering from his injuries in the lot of an abandoned building where he and Ruiz ran after the boy was shot. Police said Ruiz tried to help the shooting victim, then fled when authorities arrived, leaving his AK-47 behind.
Police found a 9 mm handgun next to the shooting victim, which Ruiz later reportedly said he armed the boy with before arriving at the trailer.
Witnesses who heard gunshots saw Ruiz run into an open shed and come out five minutes later wearing different pants. Police caught Ruiz on East Street, north of Jackson Avenue.
The 16-year-old boy was the only person injured by gunshots, which police said were possibly fired through the window from within the trailer home.
According to reports, search warrants are pending. Police found bullet holes in the front door and in the back wall of the trailer. One bullet shattered a neighbor’s glass front door.
Ruiz was charged with shooting at an occupied dwelling resulting in great bodily harm, a second-degree felony. The arrest report said it can be argued that Ruiz’s actions led people in the trailer to shooting out of the window, which led to the 16-year-old boy being shot.
Ruiz was also charged with conspiracy to commit a second-degree felony; shooting at a dwelling, a third-degree felony; tampering with evidence, also a third-degree felony; shooting at or from a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fourth-degree felony.
Ruiz is being held at Lea County Detention Center without bond.