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Argument over song leads to deadly Santa Fe shooting

Kai Porter and Joy Wang
June 19, 2017 08:03 AM

SANTA FE, N.M. – What started as an argument over a song escalated into an incident that left one person dead in Santa Fe, according to a criminal complaint.

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Police have arrested Christopher Owens following an early morning shooting. He is being charged with murder, possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence.

“People can get angry over anything nowadays,” Lt. Marvin Paulk said. “Apparently in this case, I don’t know if these people knew each other prior or they met each other, but either way the person became very angry.”

According to a criminal complaint, witnesses said Owens was with a group of people celebrating the birthday of the victim’s wife. Witnesses told police that Owens had just met the victim earlier in the evening when the victim broke up an argument between Owens and another friend at a bar.

After visiting Buffalo Thunder Casino, the group was driving back to Santa Fe when Owens and the victim began arguing over a song.

At one point, the complaint states, Owens told the victim “I will shoot you in the face” to which the victim replied, “If you’re going to do something, do it now.”

The driver eventually pulled the car over, according to the complaint, and the argument continued outside. After the victim appeared to be getting back in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, Owens pulled a gun from the passenger side and shot the victim in the chest.

A witness stated in the complaint that she remembered hearing two gunshots. The same witness stated in the complaint that Owens then said, “I’m done, I’m done, I’m going to prison for life,” before fleeing the scene. Witnesses stated in the complaint that they believed he took the firearm with him.

Owens was later found at his residence, where he complied with officers. The complaint states he did not have a firearm on him at that time.

According to the complaint, police later stopped a vehicle that was seen leaving the residence. Owens’ brother and cousin were inside, along with a backpack that they gave consent for police to search.

Inside the backpack, according to the complaint, was a folded shirt with 40 caliber bullets, latex gloves and a firearm.

A typically quiet neighborhood

Residents in the area where the shooting occurred – Viento del Norte off of Calle Mejia in the northwest part of the city – said the neighborhood is typically very quiet, with low crime.

They said they were shocked that something like this would happen where they live. One neighbor, Mike Dickman, said he was woken up around 5:30 Saturday morning by a reverse-911 call.

“(It was) telling us that there’s been an incident, than an armed and dangerous suspect was in the area, and we should stay in a shelter-in-place until they contact us again,” Dickman said.

Neighbors later said they received another call saying the shelter-in-place had been lifted.

Even then, Dickman and others who live nearby were still shaken up.

“I went out to pick up the newspaper this morning, but I didn’t see anything so I rushed out and got it and came back,” he said.

Kathy McCoy, visiting her daughter from Colorado, said it wasn’t the early-morning shelter-in-place call that woke her up.

It was the commotion outside.

“I woke up at four thinking I was hearing a huge pack of coyotes,” she said. “But after a while I began to recognize distinct police sirens.”

She looked outside and saw the neighborhood transformed into a crime scene.

“I got up and looked out the back second-story balcony window and saw lights moving around. Very bright lights,” she said. 

Credits

Kai Porter and Joy Wang

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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