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Artesia teens charged with shooting at or from vehicle

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ARTESIA — A pair of Artesia teens are awaiting preliminary examination in connection with instances of shooting at or from a motor vehicle.

On Nov. 26, Artesia Police Department officers attempting to serve a warrant in the 500 block of West Washington Avenue noticed a white Chevrolet Camaro driving past the residence multiple times. A vehicle matching that description had been mentioned as a possible suspect vehicle in drive-by shootings that had occurred in the community.

Police subsequently conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and noticed the driver, identified as Baylor Gray, 19, of Artesia, reaching to the right side of his seat and refusing to obey commands to exit the vehicle.

Officers were able to pull Gray from the vehicle, and he was placed under arrest for resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

The passenger of the vehicle, identified as 19-year-old David Barnes, of Artesia, exited and was detained.

Upon inventory of the Camaro, a small container holding a substance consistent with THC wax was found, along with a loose round of 9mm ammunition.

On the passenger side of the car, police found a black Smith & Wesson 9mm shield and chrome SIG Sauer P-238, .380 caliber.

The Sauer was run through the system and found to be stolen.

According to the criminal complaint, officers also found a white substance on Barnes’ person that he admitted to being cocaine.

During questioning, Barnes told police he was unaware the firearms were in the vehicle until the traffic stop occurred, at which time he said Gray retrieved two firearms from the left side of his seat and told Barnes to hide them under his seat. Barnes stated he removed the magazine from the 9mm handgun before placing it under his seat.

Gray, meanwhile, told police during questioning that a friend who had received the two firearms for his birthday had left them in the vehicle. According to the complaint, Gray said he had taken the guns from his car and put them inside his home, then back in the car, and that he would allow his friends to shoot the weapons.

The complaint further states that Gray admitted to retrieving the stolen firearm from the center console and giving it to Barnes to hide under his seat. He also admitted to retrieving the other firearm from the backseat and also giving it to Barnes to hide.

As police furthered the investigation, Gray’s cell phone was examined under warrant, and officers found several photographs of him handling both of the weapons. Additionally, police found two videos showing Gray firing both handguns from a moving vehicle on Nov. 21.

Barnes was also seen in the videos inside the vehicle during the shootings. Numerous photographs of Barnes and Gray ingesting narcotics and handling various firearms, including the two in question, were viewed.

Gray was subsequently arrested on charges of two counts of shooting at or from a motor vehicle (fourth-degree felony), receiving stolen property (firearm) (fourth-degree felony), tampering with evidence (fourth-degree felony), and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Barnes was arrested on charges of two counts of conspiracy to shoot at or from a motor vehicle (fourth-degree felony), tampering with evidence (fourth-degree felony), and possession of a controlled substance (felony).

Gray and Barnes are both scheduled to appear for preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Dec. 11 before Judge Jimmy C. Foster in Artesia Magistrate Court.

Barnes, meanwhile, is also scheduled to appear on that date on three other, unrelated charges.

On Sept. 24, APD officers were dispatched to Fenn’s Country Market in reference to stolen beer.

Police learned a delivery driver and two coworkers had been unloading beer from a truck. While they transported the beer into Fenn’s, the trailer door of the truck was closed but not locked.

The driver said that, as he was preparing to leave, he noticed the trailer door was open and a case of Michelob Ultra scheduled for delivery to Pizza Hut was missing.

A few days later, police were able to view surveillance video from Fenn’s. They observed a male subject with red hair open the trailer door, walk inside, and remove the beer before exiting the truck, leaving the door open. Officers recognized Barnes from previous dealings.

A warrant was issued for Barnes’ arrest on charges of auto burglary and larceny (under $250).

On June 17, police were dispatched to the 1900 block of West Clayton Avenue in reference to larceny. There, they made contact with the homeowner, who stated an Amazon package left on the doorstep had been taken by an unknown male.

That same day, police were informed a neighbor had identified the male on the video as Barnes. A warrant was issued for Barnes’ arrest on charges of larceny ($250 or less).

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