It was spring break week and children were supposed to be enjoying time away from school. But a shootout in broad daylight ended with two people injured and more than a dozen bullet casing scattered over an area where children play.
Shortly after 3 p.m. March 15, a Hobbs police officer received information about multiple gunshots being heard north of another officer’s location on the 2000 block of East Clinton Street. According to the Hobbs Police report, “There were numerous small children in the park area and several adults in the immediate area that were running and ducking while the shots were fired. The bystander actions were captured on the park cameras. No bystanders reported any injuries related to this incident and had fled prior to police arrival.”
Operators of the city’s camera surveillance system, EAGLE IC, reported a black SUV and a silver SUV fleeing the area of Hobbs City Park, located on the 1000 block of East Clinton Street, as bystanders were laying on the ground.
Dispatch told officers a 15-year-old was dropped off at the Washington Apartments, located on the 1400 block of East Marland Street, with a gunshot wound. The boy approached officers bleeding from his right wrist. Officers gave first aid and the boy was transported to Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital.
The boy told officers he was shot at City Park but refused to provide anymore information about what happened. While officers were still at the Washington Apartments, a 16-year-old who was reportedly with the first boy approached, but left before officers could talk with him, according to the report.
On the west side of the apartment complex, officers located a silver Kia Sportage with multiple bullet holes on the passenger side. Inside of the car, officers reportedly saw a handgun with a magazine and a second magazine laying in the floorboard. HPD officers later executed a warrant for the Kia and found a Taurus 9mm handgun loaded with 10 rounds, a box of ammunition,
EAGLE IC operators identified the Kia as one of the vehicles seen leaving the area of City Park earlier.
While officers were en route to Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital, dispatchers reported a man, identified as 23-year-old, Mikey Cantu, of Hobbs, was in the emergency room with a gunshot wound to his leg. Cantu told police he was at home cleaning his gun when he accidentally shot himself in the thigh, according to the report. He said he called his mother and she took him to the hospital.
The mother told officers her son called her and said he accidentally shot himself and needed a ride to the hospital. She said she picked him up and took him there.
A neighbor, who lives across the street from the park, had video footage of the shooting on their cameras. Video footage reportedly showed Cantu and the two boys were involved in the shooting.
On the video, the two boys are seen approaching Cantu’s vehicle on foot. One boy reportedly reaches towards the other and fires at the driver side of Cantu’s car.
Both boys are seen running west as Cantu exits his car and starts firing at them, according to the report. One boy is seen getting into the front passenger seat of the Kia while the second boy is seen running through the park. Several vehicles were struck with bullets.
One of the witnesses to the shooting reported she was at the park with her children at the time of the shooting. She said they all hid behind a small concrete wall and then left the park. She said she noticed her vehicle was struck, the report said.
Cantu reportedly is seen on the video driving away from the park. When officers told Cantu they knew he was involved in the shooting, he reportedly said, “I already told the other detective I want an attorney.”
The younger boy told officers he and the second boy went to City Park at the other boy’s request. The first boy said they were in the car when he noticed the second boy on CashApp, saying his mother sent him $70, the report stated. He said the black SUV pulled into the parking lot and the older told him it was a friend.
The younger boy said the older boy told him to get out and go to the vehicle with him and as they approached the driver side door, the 16-year-old started talking to Cantu. According to the report, Cantu greeted the boys as they approached and raised a handgun them, according to the report. The 15-year-old said he grabbed the gun from the 16-year-old and shot twice at Cantu before running away.
The 15-year-old said he ran towards their vehicle and that’s when Cantu fired back. The boy said he wasn’t sure when the 16-year-old was shot but after he fled he returned to the car and saw the 16-year-old bleeding, the report said.
The juvenile said the 16-year-old asked where his gun was and to go to the hospital and instead, the juvenile took him to the Washington Apartments and called 911.
HPD officers asked if the shooting was over narcotics and the 15-year-old told them he did not know because he did not know Cantu and the 16-year-old didn’t mention anything, according to the report.
Cantu currently has an arrest warrant on charges of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, a second-degree felony; aggravated battery, a third-degree felony; shooting at or from a motor vehicle and aggravated assault, both fourth-degree felonies.
The juveniles also have warrants for their arrest. The 16-year-old is wanted on charges of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, a second-degree felony; aggravated battery, a third-degree felony; and unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor. The other boy is wanted on the charge of unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor.
Cantu has several prior arrests for aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony. The charge was dismissed by the prosecutor. In 2020, he was charged with receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony; and battery, a misdemeanor. All charges were dismissed by the prosecutor.
In 2022, Cantu was charged with false imprisonment, a fourth-degree felony; battery, interference with communication, and criminal damage to the property of a household member, all misdemeanors. All charges were dismissed by the prosecutor.
Since January, HPD has responded to more than 150 calls for shots fired.