Arrest made in teen party shootout

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By Carol A. Clark

A man who ordered a group of Los Alamos teens to lie down on the ground and who hit two of them with the butt of a rifle was arrested at 1602 37th Street Friday following a joint search by officers from the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office and Los Alamos Police Department.

Jeremy W. Johnson, 24, 1602 37th Street, is charged with two misdemeanors and six felonies in connection with an ongoing investigation into a teen drinking party that occurred shortly before 1 a.m. June 7.

There was a lot of underage drinking of beer and other alcohol, said Sandoval County Under Sheriff Tim Lucero, adding that a fight broke out and some partygoers left. They returned later carrying two AK-47 Semi-Automatic rifles.

Shots were fired into the air and at vehicles parked near Forest Road 280 in the Jemez, he said, and two of the teens were hit with rifle butts.

The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency on the case because the party took place across the county line, in Sandoval County.

Det. Shari Mills of the Los Alamos Police Department said she received a call from Sheriff Adam Crosby Friday requesting assistance to serve a warrant for the arrest of Johnson.

“We went looking for Johnson at several addresses,” Mills said. “I had something else to attend to so Sgt. Preston Ballew joined Sheriff Crosby in the search.”

Crosby eventually had to leave, she said. Ballew continued the search alone, and made the arrest later in the day Friday.

“It was the persistence of Sgt. Ballew that resulted in Johnson’s arrest,” Mills said. “We’re glad we were able to assist the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office with this arrest.”

During an interview Monday, Lucero said that as a result of the investigation, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Gavin Peterson of Los Alamos. Other arrests are also expected, he said.

Johnson is charged with two counts of Aggravated Battery, two counts of Kidnapping, one count of Negligent Use of Deadly Weapon Under the Influence, two counts of Criminal Damage to Property less than $1,000 and one count of Criminal Damage to Property of more than $1,000.

The kidnapping charges stem from ordering teens against their will to lie on the ground and stay there, Lucero said, and the aggravated battery charges are a result of hitting two teens with the rifle butt.

Johnson is being held in the Bernalillo jail on a $150,000 cash-only bond.

“Johnson and Peterson may be looking at some prison time for this – they both have a history of violence,” Lucero said.

Anyone with information about the June 7 incident or the whereabouts of Peterson is asked to call Crimestoppers at 412-5167 or the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office at 505-867-7521.