DA's Office weighs charges in family shooting

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — The San Juan County District Attorney's Office continues to debate whether to charge a 71-year-old grandfather in the shooting of his 21-year-old grandson.


Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said Wednesday the grandson remained hospitalized after he was shot in the abdomen July 6 at a residence in south Farmington. O'Brien said the state will likely wait until the grandson has been released before making a decision on whether to file charges in the shooting.

O'Brien declined to discuss the specifics of the case, but a search warrant affidavit filed Thursday at Farmington Magistrate Court reveals new details regarding the shooting.

The search warrant affidavit identifies the suspect in the shooting as Wayland H. Moore. Moore's grandson is identified as Steven Bridges. Moore said Wednesday in a brief telephone conversation he had no comment on the incident.

Farmington police were dispatched at 1:37 p.m. on July 6 to a residence at 2121 Camino Rio after Moore contacted 911 and reported he shot his grandson, according to the affidavit. At the residence, Moore handed an officer a 9 millimeter handgun and said, "Here, I shot him with this," the affidavit states.

Bridges was transported from the scene to the San Juan Regional Medical Center and then flown to an Albuquerque hospital. Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said at the time Bridges was in critical condition.

Moore told detectives in an interview his grandson asked him to meet earlier that day with a bail bondsman at a local convenience store. Moore said he agreed to meet and learned Bridges owed money to the bail bondsman. Moore refused to pay the debt and left the convenience store, according to the affidavit.

Moore told police his grandson appeared at his residence a short time later and forced entrance into his home, the affidavit states. Moore said he and Bridges then got into a physical altercation, and the grandson attempted to grab Moore's holstered handgun, according to the affidavit.

Moore said during the struggle over the gun, Bridges was shot in the stomach, the affidavit states.

The shooting on July 6 was not the first criminal incident that involved the two men.

Bridges was charged in April 2015 with multiple counts of forgery and fraud on allegations he used forged checks to steal more than $3,000 from Moore. However, the charges were dismissed on Oct. 5.

O'Brien said Wednesday the state dismissed the case because Moore did not want to pursue charges against his grandson.

Since then, Bridges has been arrested twice on suspicion of drug possession, including an incident on March 7 when Bridges was found asleep at the wheel outside a convenience store in San Juan County.

Bridges told police at the scene he was diabetic and fell asleep due to low blood sugar, but police found drug paraphernalia and a syringe filled with a brown liquid in the man's vehicle, according to court records. The brown liquid tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine, records state.

Moore is the executive officer of the San Juan Wildlife Federation, according to the federation's website. The federation is dedicated to protecting the country's natural resources, and providing public firearms safety and shooting experiences for local adults and youths, the website states.

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