FARMINGTON — A local man's reputation as an aspiring rapper helped police identify and charge him with 17 felonies, including attempted murder.

Raul Avalos, a 24-year-old Farmington man, was arrested Sunday for allegedly shooting two people at a house party at 603 Taos Ave. at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday. One of the victims remained in critical condition Monday.

Police say Avalos got into an altercation with a group of people at a house party before he allegedly fired three shots at people sitting on a couch, according to court documents.

Danny Vargas, of Farmington, lives in the home and hosted the party, according to court documents.

Demetrius and Chantara Garrett were shot at the party and taken to San Juan Regional Medical, according to court documents.

Demetrius was shot in the thigh and the chest and received damage to his heart and lungs, according to court documents.

He remained in critical condition at the hospital on Monday evening, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Chantara was shot in the knee.

There were several witnesses to the shooting, including a 13-year-old girl, who were interviewed early Sunday morning by members of Farmington police and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office at the Farmington Police Department.

Though the witnesses could not provide police with the suspect's name, they gave police a physical description and said the man records his own rap music and had CDs at the party.

Farmington Police Officer Nate Kempton said he had heard Avalos rap during previous encounters and police created a photo lineup.


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Six people, including a 17-year old and a 15-year old, picked Avalos from the photo lineup, according to court records.

Later that afternoon police encountered Avalos at the Anasazi Inn. Avalos refused to submit to arrest and was forcefully obtained by police officers, according to court documents.

Police found a .22 caliber semiautomatic hand gun in the vehicle that matched witness descriptions.

He faces one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault with intent to kill, three counts of aggravated battery, three counts of child abuse, five counts of aggravated assault and three counts of battery upon a peace officer.