Farmington man faces attempted murder charge

Steve Garrison
Marcus McGee

FARMINGTON — A 41-year-old Farmington man was charged Monday with attempted second-degree murder in connection to a shooting on New Year's Day.

The case has been sealed through a court order, but, according to a Farmington Police Department press release, officers were dispatched at 2:44 a.m. Friday to a residence in the 1200 block of North Wall Avenue after receiving reports of a shooting. A 59-year-old man, who police have not identified, was found at the scene with several gunshot wounds and was rushed to San Juan Regional Medical Center for treatment.

He was later flown to an Albuquerque hospital, where Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said Monday he was in stable condition.

Detectives identified Marcus McGee as a suspect in the shooting, and, with the assistance of the department's gang unit, located him at his residence in Farmington, according to the press release. McGee was transported to the Farmington Police Department and interviewed by detectives, who obtained a warrant for his arrest.

The warrant, as well as all other documents related to the case, are under seal by order of the court. Allen said police requested the case be sealed because the investigation is ongoing.

"They are protecting the integrity of the case," Allen said. "I can't elaborate on it."

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said it was rare for court records to be sealed. He said it is typically only done to protect the identity of a confidential informant or, possibly, a child victim. He said a case may also be sealed to keep information from being released during an ongoing investigation.

O'Brien said he was not certain why McGee's case was sealed. Only another court order can unseal it.

Allen said the shooting occurred at 1204 N. Wall Ave.

Norma Jean Phillips answered the door at that address on Monday afternoon. She said the alleged victim in the shooting was her boyfriend, Shah Malik, with whom she rented the house. She said they had been together for 10 years.

A University of New Mexico Hospital spokesman confirmed Monday night Malik was at the hospital and he was in satisfactory condition.

Norma Jean Phillips holds a photo of her boyfriend, Shah Malik, on Monday at the couple's home on North Wall Street  in Farmington.

Phillips said McGee was a friend who the couple had known for several years. They met him about five years ago when he owned a clothing store in Farmington, according to Phillips.

"He kind of adopted us," Phillips said about McGee, who is originally from Chicago. "He called us auntie and uncle."

Phillips told The Daily Times she and Malik attended a midnight church service on New Year's Eve at Ideal Baptist Church at 203 E. Elm St. in Farmington.

Phillips said that after the service, she met McGee at a friend's house on Glade Lane and played cards. She said McGee left the card game at about 2:30 a.m., and she and her friend teased him about his departure.

"You always want to leave when you are losing money," Phillips said she told McGee.

Phillips said that unbeknownst to her McGee went to her home on North Wall Avenue and shot Malik several times.

Blood is visible on Shah Malik's glasses, held on Monday by his girlfriend, Norma Jean Phillips, at the couple's home on North Wall Street in Farmington.

A close neighbor, who asked not to be identified due to concerns for his safety, told The Daily Times he and his wife were entertaining guests at their residence at approximately 2:40 a.m. Friday when he heard someone jiggle the front door handle.

He said a guest opened the door, and Malik fell through the entrance, covered in blood.

"I asked him right away, 'Are you shot? Who shot you?'" the neighbor said. "He said, 'Marcus, Marcus shot me four times.'"

The neighbor said Malik accused a man named Marcus of being the shooter several more times when paramedics and police arrived at the scene. The neighbor said he did not recognize that name.

"I've never even heard his name until it came out of his mouth that day," he said. "I talked to Norma Jean, and she said he used to live with them."

The neighbor said he has lived near Malik for seven years.

"Whenever I talked to him, he was an OK guy," he said. "He takes our trash out to the curb every week. He says, 'Hi,' when he walks by."

Phillips said friends helped her clean her home over the weekend, but, on Monday, blood stains were still visible on the walls and floor in a room Phillips called Malik's "man cave." A white couch next to the front door also had a large blood stain on it.

Norma Jean Phillips lifts a sheet off a couch covered in blood at her home on North Wall Street in Farmington on Monday. Phillips said her boyfriend, Shah Malik, was shot on Friday at the couple's home.

​"Four bullets — God was with him," Phillips said. "It's a good thing I went to church."

Phillips said she fell asleep at her friend's residence after the card game and was awoken at approximately 4 a.m. by McGee, who she said then told her: "You are going to have a good New Year."

Phillips said she did not know why McGee would shoot Malik, but police asked her if Malik owed McGee money.

"The police asked me, 'How much money did Marcus have?'" Phillips said. "I didn't know about any money."

McGee was being held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a $100,000 cash-only bond. Allen said additional charges may be brought against him.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

Norma Jean Phillips talks on Monday at her home on North Wall Street in Farmington about her boyfriend, Shah Malik, who police say was shot on Friday.