Man allegedly fired multiple shots from rifle while driving around Farmington

Two spent rifle casings were found during investigation

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Crime
  • Joel Begay, 19, was charged on Oct. 23 and accused of a fourth-degree felony count of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, according to court documents.
  • There were multiple calls around 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 23 in the area of East 20th Street and North Tucker Avenue which reported multiple gunshots heard in the area, according to the probable cause statement.
  • Begay’s preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Nov. 3 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man is accused of firing multiple shots from a rifle while driving around Farmington, claiming a man pointed a handgun at him.

Joel Begay, 19, was charged on Oct. 23 and accused of a fourth-degree felony count of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, according to court documents.

Shane Goranson, Begay’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

There were multiple calls around 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 23 in the area of East 20th Street and North Tucker Avenue reporting multiple gunshots heard in the area, according to the probable cause statement.

A Farmington Police Department officer also heard the gunshots. The agency handled the investigation.

A black Cadillac SUV was seen driving at a high rate of speed near the intersection of East 20th Street and Sullivan Avenue. It matched a vehicle description given by one of the people who called dispatch.

An officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but he lost sight of the SUV.

A man spoke to police, stating a man later identified as Begay pulled a rifle on him but did not shoot at him. He did not provide any more details to police.

It was around 7:56 a.m. Oct. 23 that police made contact with Begay in the 500 block of East Navajo Street.

Begay admitted to being involved in a shooting earlier in the day.

He claimed a man in a red Cadillac car pulled a handgun and pointed it at him while driving on East 20th Street. Begay then told police he retrieved a rifle from inside the SUV and fired multiple rounds into the air.

Begay is accused of following the red Cadillac east on 20th Street, turning south on Hutton Street, driving through the intersection of Hutton Street and East Main Street, then driving east on Main Street, according to court documents.

The defendant allegedly fired upward of four to five rounds while driving, the probable cause statement said.

Begay and the man in the red Cadillac then got out of their vehicles in the area of Buffalo Wild Wings at 2700 E. Main St. and got into a fight.

Police located a spent rifle casing near the intersection of East 20th Street and Farmington Avenue, and a second casing in the Weck’s restaurant parking lot at 2800 E. Main St.

Begay’s SUV and residence were sealed, pending a searching warrant.

During a “sweep” of the residence, a black rifle with a “drum magazine” was observed in a bedroom of the residence, according to court documents.

The defendant was released on Oct. 25 from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Begay’s preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Nov. 3 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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