FARMINGTON — Twenty-five-year-old Patrick Benally accused a woman of trying to become "romantically involved" with another woman before driving away from a Fruitland home in his pickup truck last month, according to an FBI report.
Later that day, as the two women sat smoking cigarettes in a car parked behind the home, Benally returned and shot one of them in the face, the report states.
U.S. Marshals arrested Benally near Morgan Lake on Friday night, according to the FBI.
On Tuesday, Benally, a Shiprock resident, made his first appearance in district court in Albuquerque for allegedly shooting the woman on Oct. 10 outside a housing complex on the Navajo Nation.
Benally is charged in federal court with assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon and use of a firearm to commit a violent crime, according to an FBI press release.
He is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in district court for his preliminary detention hearing, said FBI spokesman Frank Fisher.
The report states that Benally returned to the Fruitland home and began to argue with the women.
At one point, one of the women told Benally, "Well just blast me then!" according to the report.
Benally slammed the car's rear door on that woman, raised a pistol to the window, fired through the glass and then drove away, according to the report.
The friend turned to the woman, who was holding her face and said she had been shot, the report said.
About three hours later, a special agent saw the woman as she was transported for surgery at San Juan Regional Medical Center. According to the report, the women was unconscious and had a "gaping apparent gunshot wound" to her left cheekbone that was plugged with a bloody rag.
Fisher said the woman was released from the hospital about two weeks after the shooting. He did not offer additional details on her condition.
The FBI has not released the woman's name, and Fisher declined to explain the woman's relationship with Benally.
"That will come out in court," he said.
The FBI offered a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Benally.
Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and San Juan County Sheriff's Office are assisting with the investigation.
The Shiprock Criminal Investigation Office and sheriff's office declined to comment and deferred questions to the FBI.