CRIME

Man accused of shooting at Fruitland store, housing area in Shiprock

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A Fruitland man is accused of felonies for allegedly shooting a store in Fruitland then firing shots in a residential area in Shiprock.

Arran Yazzie, 22, faces fourth-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, shooting at dwelling or occupied building and shooting at or from a motor vehicle, along with a petty misdemeanor count of negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to the criminal complaint.

Court records show that the criminal complaint, arrest warrant affidavit and arrest warrant were filed on July 7 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Yazzie was still wanted by law enforcement with an active arrest warrant as of July 8.

The arrest warrant affidavit details the investigation by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, which was dispatched around 4:44 p.m. on June 20 to Golden's Food Store, 700 County Road 6100 in Fruitland, in reference to a possible drive-by shooting.

They arrived shortly after dispatch received the call and reported that no one was injured, the document stated. However, they found that seven rounds hit the west side of the building and five rounds were inside the business, which was occupied by employees and customers.

A witness reported seeing a gray Ford vehicle leaving the scene and heading west on County Road 6100.

The Sheriff's Office obtained video footage from the store and it showed a gray or silver Ford F150 pickup truck at the intersection of County Roads 6100 and 6675 when the shooting occurred, the document stated. A still shot of the truck was shared among deputies in the Kirtland area, then an attempt to locate was relayed to the Navajo Police Department in Shiprock.

Shiprock police were called at 6:53 p.m. about shots fired at a housing area north of the Northern Navajo Medical Center.

The reporting party stated they saw a silver Ford pickup truck leave the area at a high rate of speed when seven to nine rounds were fired.

The truck was later stopped by a Navajo police officer at a fast-food restaurant in Shiprock, according to the court document. Yazzie was identified as the driver and was eventually interviewed at the scene by a detective and a corporal from the Sheriff's Office.

When asked about the shootings, he told them that he did not know what they were talking about, then later talked about being with his cousin that day and said it was the cousin who fired the shots.

The truck was towed from the fast-food restaurant to the Sheriff's Office impound lot.

The detective obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found spent and unspent casings inside as well as a pistol and an envelope that held white crystalline substance which tested a presumptive positive for methamphetamine, the court document stated.

Yazzie and the detective spoke by telephone on July 6, he talked again about spending the day with his cousin and being threatened by him.

"After speaking with Arran, he admitted to driving the silver F150 and also being the one who fired rounds at the Golden convenience store while being under the influence," the arrest warrant affidavit states.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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