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Alleged skate park shooter Caught

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Detectives and agents of the Gallup Police Department arrested DeShawn Yazzie, 18, of Gallup, just before 9 am Nov. 21. Yazzie was located in a vehicle on the west side of Gallup.

Yazzie was wanted for attempted murder, among other charges, after allegedly shooting multiple people at the Gallup Skate Park, 308 E. Hwy. 66, Oct. 14. He was taken into custody without incident and was booked into the McKinley County Adult Detention Center on those charges.

 

THE SKATE PARK SHOOTING

The Oct. 14 shooting left three victims in the hospital and the skate park has been closed indefinitely ever since.

Around 6:30 pm Oct. 14,three brothers were at the skate park when one of two suspects, Juan Angel, 15, of Gallup, approached them and said he was going to shoot them.

The brothers were able to tackle Angel and disarm him. But then another suspect, later identified as Yazzie, came up and began shooting at them as well. All three brothers were injured, and Yazzie left the scene and was not seen again until his arrest.

 

CLOSURE AND THE FALLOUT

During the Gallup City Council’s Oct. 22 regular meeting, Mayor Jackie McKinney told a crowded room the skate park would remain closed indefinitely until the Gallup Police Department finished its investigation and proper safety measures were put into place.

A number of local skateboarders spoke during the meeting’s public comment session, expressing how important the skate park is to local youth.

During the City Council’s Nov. 12 meeting, a number of additions to help enhance security at the skate park were discussed. These items include cameras, higher-class security guards, and other numerous features, including a wrought-iron security fence. The budgeted cost for these items came to just over $125,000, and the item was approved.

For its part, Gallup Police Det. Jon Whitsitt expressed gratitude to law enforcement partners at the Crownpoint Navajo Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in catching Yazzie.