Hobbs police arrested a 14-year-old male on Thursday in connection with an early morning shooting.
Officers were dispatched to the 1700 block of North Breckon in Hobbs following a report of a man who’d been shot multiple times, according to a Hobbs Police Department report. The victim was discovered inside the residence. The man’s former spouse told police the man heard something outside and went to investigate. Shortly after, she said, she heard several gunshots.
The man told officers at the scene he’d found a young male “about 16-years-old,” burglarizing his former spouse’s car, according to the report. The victim said he confronted the individual, who reportedly shot him before fleeing the scene.
Officers were unable to find the suspect during an initial search of the area, the report said.
The man was transported by ambulance to Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
During a follow-up interview at the hospital, the victim was unable to provide additional information. Officers learned of several cameras in the area and were able to obtain footage, including images of a male matching the suspect’s description in the area at the approximate time of the incident.
Shortly after, the footage showed a young male fleeing the area with what was believed to be a weapon in his hand.
A resident subsequently contacted the Lea County Communications Authority to report the theft of a .40 caliber Sig Sauer handgun from their vehicle in the 2100 block of North Steven in Hobbs. The report stated officers located the distinctive holster in an alley between Steven Drive and Yeso Drive that matched the description of the stolen handgun.
Police reported finding several .40 caliber casings at the scene of the shooting as well as a magazine from a Sig Sauer semiautomatic pistol, according to the report.
The juvenile suspect was later located and taken to the Hobbs Police Department, where a relative was called, due to his age. The relative gave consent for questioning, at which time officers told the juvenile they were “aware he was ‘carhopping,’ which is slang for burglarizing vehicles.”
Police also told the juvenile he’d been identified on several cameras. The young suspect initially denied any knowledge of the crimes, but broke down after officers told him the victim was in the hospital “fighting for his life,” the report said.
The suspect reportedly stated spontaneously “I shot him,” after being informed he could face murder charges if the victim died. The suspect went on to tell police he believed the victim was armed when the victim approached him, raising his hand “as if he was raising a gun.”
The suspect informed officers he’d discarded the weapon in a field near Sanger Street and Steven Drive. The suspect “apologized for the incidents and said he wanted to change his life,” according to the police report.
The suspect was charged with aggravated burglary, a second degree felony, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony, and burglary, a fourth degree felony. Lea County juvenile authorities were contacted and the suspect was transported to the Lea County Detention Center in Lovington.