Sherif fs deputies seized a gun Wednesday evening after conducting searches of two residences located in the 700 block of East Third Street.
The searches were the result of a report that members of one side of an ongoing feud had been threatened with a gun earlier that day. Witnesses reported that around 3:50 p.m near the intersection of Second Street and Atkinson Avenue that family members and friends of James Gomez were threatened by a woman with a gun.
The family arrived at the Sheriffâ€™s Office to report that a gray Chevy Malibu pulled up next to their vehicle as they were driving home from Gomezâ€™s preliminary hearing for a first-degree murder charge. The witnesses said a female then pointed a gun at them. Gomez, 20, has been charged in the Feb. 13 death of Zachary Perez.
The victims of Wednesdayâ€™s incident said they did not know the womanâ€™s name, only her nickname. That name is associated with a member of the Perez family, said Lt. Britt Snyder, spokesman for the Chaves County Sheriffâ€˜s Office. â€œThis must have happened almost immediately after the families left the parking lot. It seems to have been a continuation of the tension that started inside the courthouse,â€ Snyder said.
After Gomezâ€™s hearing Wednesday afternoon, a fight erupted between the two families in the courthouse mezzanine. The Roswell Police Department was called in to support Chaves County Courthouse staff in their efforts to escort the family members from the building. Perezâ€™s death, and the filing of charges against Gomez, has been an emotional one for both families. Following Wednesdayâ€™s report of a gun being brandished, a warrant was issued to search two premises.
During their search, deputies confiscated a gun they found, although Snyder admitted â€œwe donâ€™t know if this is the gun that was used.â€ The incident is currently listed as an aggravated assault. However, Snyder did not know if charges would be filed. â€œWe donâ€™t know how many people were in the car.
We only know that the victims seem to be connected to Gomez, and the suspects seem to be connected with Perez,â€ Snyder said. The investigation is continuing, he added.