Alec Thomas
Alec Thomas (Courtesy of San Juan County Sheriff's Office)
AZTEC — First, Andrew Kvech heard a gunshot.

Then the Farmington man heard his friend say, "Oh crap, I shot you."

Alec Thomas, a 35-year-old Farmington man, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of shooting Kvech, 42, in the leg.

Though investigators believe the shooting was accidental, Thomas was intoxicated at the time of the shooting, and he is a convicted felon who cannot possess guns, said San Juan County Sheriff's Office Lt. Cory Tanner.

The shooting took place at about 3 p.m. Wednesday outside a residence on Tranquility Court in Crouch Mesa. Kvech, his brother and Thomas were working on a truck, and there were two handguns at the scene. Kvech told police Thomas was "messing" around with one of the guns when it discharged, according to court documents.

Kvech was shot just below his right kneecap. He was taken by ambulance to San Juan Regional Medical Center, and he was later flown to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque because of complications, according to a sheriff's office news release.

His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Thomas was convicted of felony burglary in Oregon in 1997, according to the release.

After the shooting, the sheriff's office said Thomas took apart the handgun, and then fled in a camouflage pickup truck that was quickly stopped by responding law enforcement.

"During interviews with deputies, he informed them that he had 'inadvertently' shot his friend, and that he was a felon," Tanner said.

Thomas was charged with felon in possession of a handgun, tampering with evidence and negligent use of a deadly weapon.

The latter two charges were added because Thomas allegedly took apart the gun after the shooting, and it is illegal for intoxicated people to be in possession of guns, Tanner said.

Ryan Boetel can be reached at rboetel@daily-times.com; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @roboetel