Police: 6-year-old shot prior to drive-by shooting in Lamesa, mother, father arrested

Police: 6-year-old shot prior to drive-by shooting in Lamesa, mother, father arrested
(Source: KCBD)
(Source: KCBD)

LAMESA, TX (KCBD) - Officials with the Lamesa Police Department say a 6-year-old child was shot at the same house where more than 13 hours later a drive-by shooting left the house riddled with bullet holes.

According to police, while they were investigating the drive-by shooting that happened about 12:50 a.m. on Jan. 3, they learned a 6-year-old was shot around 11:30 a.m.  on Jan. 2. Officers requested an ambulance because the child had been injured from a gunshot blast.

The investigation revealed there was a "confrontation" between 28-year-old Benny Vela and two other people at the house. Police say Vela got a 12 gauge shotgun, but dropped it, which caused the gun to discharge, shooting the child.

The child's mother, 29-year-old Jennifer Ruiz, has been arrested and charged with endangering a child because police say she refused to seek medical treatment for the child. An arrest warrant has been issued for Vela, charging him with injury to a child. Vela was said to be evading law enforcement, according to officials with the Lamesa Police Department, but turned himself in to the Dawson County Jail on Thursday, Jan. 12.

He is now facing charges of injury to a child and is in jail on a $35,000 bond.

"This incident is believed to have been the beginning of the incident which lead to the drive-by shooting, which is still in the investigation stage, however, Lamesa PD expects to file criminal charges on those two subjects once the investigation is complete," said officials in a news release.

The child was taken by ambulance to the Lamesa Medical Arts Hospital but later transported to a Lubbock hospital where he was admitted.

There is no word on the condition of the child at this time.

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