BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A series of stray bullets hitting RVs and buildings has Belen Police asking people for help looking out for a negligent gun user.
Since June, Belen Police says it received at least four separate calls for stray bullets hitting property in the area of I-25 and Camino del Llano. In at least one of the cases, several RVs were struck with bullets as people were still inside.
“It’s unsettling,” said Deborah Horn, who’s RV was hit with a bullet last weekend. “It scared the bejesus out of me.”
Horn’s scare came as she was sitting on a couch inside her fifth wheel, reading the newspaper. A bullet pierced the side of her RV’s pop-out, splintering the wood paneling just inches away from where she was sitting as it lodged in the vehicle.
“Absolutely, it could have come through the wall,” said Horn.
Horn’s RV had been parked at the Top Spot RV park just west of I-25, off Camino del Llano. The RV park’s owner, Roger Castro says several RVs were hit during the shooting.
“The guy’s sitting in his RV and a bullet went through three walls and lodged in his shower,” said Castro, recalling another victim’s story.
Calling it “unnerving,” Castro says he’s had at least seven tenants whose property were hit with bullets. He believes the shots were fired from the nearby hills
“We just need it stopped because my people have been moving out and they’re afraid, you can’t blame ’em,” said Castro.
The stray bullet reports have been a growing concern for Belen Police, as well.
“We have been fortunate that none of these stray bullets have actually resulted in a serious injury,” said Chief Victor Rodriguez of the Belen Police Department.
In all, Belen Police have received reports of the stray bullets hitting two nearby RV parks, one home, and an apartment complex on the east side of the freeway. The area is widely known for its proximity to the large Belen “B,” sitting behind Belen High School.
“It’s extremely scary, we are absolutely concerned for the public’s safety,” said Chief Rodriguez.
Anyone caught firing a gun outside of the shooting range could be charged with negligent use of a firearm. Police are asking for neighbors to keep a lookout, while neighbors hope the shooting stops.
“What would your mama say?” asked Horn in a message to the shooter. “I mean, they know better than that.”
It’s not clear if whoever’s doing the shooting is just being careless or if they’re intentionally shooting toward homes and other buildings.
Belen Police have recovered at least one of the bullets that was lodged in an RV. The department says it’s also working with the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office to increase patrols in the area.