Shooting hurts burglary suspect and victim

Las Cruces Police Department

An armed Las Cruces homeowner thwarted a burglary attempt Tuesday by opening fire on three suspects before accidentally shooting himself.

Adan Quintero, 22, was struck by one of the rounds fired by the homeowner and was taken by friends to Mountain View Regional Medical Center. He was later airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso with a gunshot wound to his upper chest. His condition was reported to be stable, and his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Las Cruces police were called to the 1800 block of Debra Street after neighbors heard gunfire. Arriving officers found shell casings and blood evidence but no victims.

A short while later police were notified that medical professionals at Mountain View were tending to two gunshot victims who arrived independent of each other. One of the gunshot victims was Quintero and the other patient was the 30-year-old victim of the burglary attempt who appears to have accidentally shot himself while chasing off the suspects. The injuries to the 30-year-old victim are not life-threatening.

Detectives said Quintero and two other suspects allegedly broke into the residence on Debra Street and were confronted by the homeowner who was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The homeowner fired at least one round at the suspects while they were inside the residence and then several more rounds as they fled.

The investigation also revealed that the suspects had a .25 caliber handgun during the burglary attempt, though it does not appear they fired any shots. Police found that handgun in the Nissan Xterra the suspects were driving.

Quintero, Omar E. Gonzalez, 20, and 24-year-old Ernest William Lucero were charged with one count each of aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and conspiracy. Quintero remains hospitalized and will be placed under arrest when he’s released. Gonzalez was detained this morning, and police are still attempting to locate Lucero.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ernest William Lucero is asked to call police.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner. Las Cruces Police detectives are continuing their investigation.




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