A man fired a handgun in the air to threaten the suspect


FARMINGTON — A Kirtland man is accused of firing a "warning shot" from a handgun at a Flora Vista gas station in response to men who allegedly threatened him.

Dustin Stripling, 26, is accused of felony count of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, according to court records.

A deputy for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office was dispatched around 9:27 p.m. on Sunday to the Circle K gas station at 819 New Mexico Highway 516 on reports of a man who threatened someone with a shotgun, according to the probable cause statement.

Farmington Police Department officers located a vehicle driven by Stripling in the area of Villa View Drive and East Main Street later that evening.

Stripling told the deputy three men had attempted to kill him.

He added he threatened them with a shotgun to get them to back away from his vehicle and then got in his vehicle to leave the gas station.

Stripling told the deputy he placed the shotgun on his passenger seat and retrieved a handgun. He allegedly heard one gunshot he thought was from the men who allegedly threatened him.

Stripling allegedly fired one bullet from his handgun in the air as he left north on County Road 350 to make the men scared of him, according to the probable cause statement.

A sheriff's office detective reviewed the video footage from the gas station and it confirme most of Stripling's account of the incident, according to court documents.

The video footage shows one of the three men firing a handgun in the air as Stripling left the gas station.

One person has been identified by the sheriff's office and investigators working to identify the other two men, according to Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln of the Sheriff's Office. No charges have been filed against the person identified.

Those with information on the incident can contact non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622.

Stripling was released on his own recognizance following his first appearance Thursday in Aztec Magistrate Court. His preliminary hearing is set for the morning of July 12.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

Read or Share this story: http://www.daily-times.com/story/news/crime/2018/07/04/kirtland-man-accused-firing-handgun-flora-vista-gas-station/756732002/