Brothers arrested for pharmacy shooting Tuesday | KOB 4

Brothers arrested for pharmacy shooting Tuesday

J.R. Oppenheim
December 27, 2017 05:14 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Police arrested two brothers for a Tuesday shooting at a CVS Pharmacy that left two security guards and the shooter injured.


According to court documents, Vankevin and Michael Chopito have each been charged with two counts of aggravated battery following the shooting near Central and Louisiana.

Witnesses told police the shooting followed a fight in the CVS parking lot involving Michael Chopito. One security guard tried to break up the fight. A second off-duty security guard reportedly overheard a man saying over the phone to stop at the CVS "because people were messing with him," the police report states.

Police say Michael Chopito returned to the CVS with Vankevin Chopito, who then fired a shotgun at the security guards. One guard got bystanders into the store for safety when he was shot.

The off-duty guard told police Vankevin Chopito fired into the air before shooting at them, and the off-duty guard returned fire in self-defense. He was also injured.

"[He] fired a round into the air and fired a round toward the security guards, shooting one in the face and one in the leg," APD Public Information Officer Simon Drobik said. "Thankfully its bird shot, so it's not like pellets. It's a little bit less lethal."

Police found Vankevin Chopito at UNM Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right leg. He admitted to officers Michael Chopito contacted him about the dispute and drove to the CVS with a shotgun. He initially told police he pulled out the shotgun when the guard shot first, but the police report states he changed his story and said he did shoot at the guards.

Officers detained Michael Chopito at the hospital as well, admitting he dumped the shotgun in a bush. Police found the shotgun later.

Police also charged the brothers with conspiracy and tampering with evidence. The injuries to the guards and to Vankevin Chopito were non-life threatening, but Drobik said it's an example of a larger, more serious problem in Albuquerque.

"People are settling their arguments out in the streets, petty arguments, by bringing weapons to these crimes," he said. "And they're becoming bigger crimes."


J.R. Oppenheim

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