The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday it has arrested two men in connection with a May 6 shooting at the Pojoaque Supermarket that left a woman with two gunshot wounds.
Oscar Adrian Huerta Puentes, 22, and Irving Ocana Escalante, 20, are each facing a count of attempt to commit murder and other charges.
Sheriff’s officials believe Escalante drove the men to the supermarket and parked near 35-year-old Guadalupe Molina‘s silver Mazda and that Puentes opened fire on her, striking her twice, according to a news release the sheriff’s office issued Monday.
Molina was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for surgery, court documents say.
A statement of probable cause filed Monday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court indicates Molina might have been caught in the crosshairs of a dispute that didn’t involve her after the suspects targeted the wrong car.
According to the statement, Escalante told detectives the two men had been trying to find a person in a silver Toyota Corolla who had been harassing a friend of Puentes.
They had been smoking cannabis and driving around Santa Fe on May 6 when Puentes received a call from someone who complained they were being harassed, Escalante said.
He drove to downtown Santa Fe, following the Toyota at a close distance and trying to get the driver to pull over and possibly fight, Escalante said, according to the statement. He followed the car north onto U.S. 285/84, he said, but then lost sight of it.
Escalante told detectives he thought he saw the car driving near the Pojoaque Supermarket and followed it into the parking lot.
He said he parked parallel to the car, believing Puentes would get into a fight with the driver, the statement says, but Puentes instead took out a handgun and fired twice.
“[Escalante] advised when he heard a female scream, he knew the vehicle was not the same vehicle intended to dispute with,” a detective wrote in the statement of probable cause.
Court documents show both men are facing one count each of attempt to commit murder, conspiracy to attempt to commit murder and conspiracy to shoot at or from a motor vehicle.
Puentes also is charged with shooting at or from a motor vehicle, and Escalante is charged with a count of tampering with evidence.
Escalante is accused of altering the physical appearance of a 2017 white Audi after detectives distributed a flyer announcing they were seeking information about the vehicle in connection with the shooting.
Puentes was arrested at his home in Santa Fe, where he met with sheriff’s officials with his attorney, Val Whitley, who had the Glock 22 believed to have been used in the shooting, the statement says.
Whitley could not be reached for comment.