After two shootings at the same home on N.M. 116 in less than two weeks, Valencia County sheriff’s deputies, detectives and drug investigators returned to the property and served two arrest warrants in unrelated cases.
Lt. Joe Rowland, spokesman for the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies responded to a shooting on Monday, July 27, at a house in the 1400 block of N.M. 116, south of the city of Belen.
Rowland said there was a fight on the property among several people and someone fired a shot into the air to scatter the crowd. In that case, Enzo Apodaca, 30, of Belen, was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon. No one was injured.
“A neighbor caught the incident on video and he was charged and summoned,” Rowland said.
The charge is a petty misdemeanor. Apodaca’s arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1, in front of Los Lunas Magistrate Heather Benavidez.
Deputies went to the house again on Thursday, Aug. 6, this time for a man shot in the hip with a handgun. The victim was eventually located at the Court Street Apartments in Belen.
“The victim is being uncooperative but witnesses provided some information,” Rowland said.
Because the two shootings happened so close together, Rowland said officers returned to the house on Thursday, Aug. 13, to get more information on the second shooting, which could result in someone being charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Officers made contact with several people on the property, the lieutenant said, and two had warrants for their arrest — Melvin Lopez, 55, of Truth or Consequences, and Arlene Lujan, 33, of Albuquerque.
Lopez was arrested on an absconding warrant issued by state probation and parole in connection to a 2016 armed robbery.
“He had an extensive criminal background and was taken into custody on that warrant,” Rowland said. “The warrant for Ms. Lujan was for a traffic offense. She was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center and a little more than an ounce of meth was found inside her person.”
The lieutenant said the people living at the home weren’t there at the time of the arrests.
“There is a person of interest in the second shooting, but right now, the victim is uncooperative which makes a difference in the investigation,” he said.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.