The Odessa Police Department charged six teenagers in connection with the investigations of nine separate shootings over a six month period that left at least two people injured.
Police continue to seek two other teens who are wanted in the spree.
OPD Spokesman Steve LeSeuer said the series of shootings are suspected gang activity.
“It’s not just here, it’s everywhere,” LeSeuer said about gang activity in Odessa. “In this case, it is gang-related.”
Police responded to the shootings over a period of nearly six months, occurring in various blocks and an apartment complex in Odessa.
The nine shootings were reported on:
- Jan. 6 in the 500 block of Clifford Street.
- Feb. 5 at Arbor Terrace Townhomes, 1101 Fitch Ave.
- Feb. 6 in the 500 block of Clifford Street.
- March 9 in the 1300 block of Eidson Avenue.
- March 26 in the 500 block of Clifford Street.
- March 28 at Arbor Terrace Townhomes.
- March 28 in the 1400 block of South Jackson Avenue.
- April 6 in the 500 block of Clifford Street.
- May 28 in the 1300 block of Lindberg Street.
Police charged six suspects in the shooting with engaging in organized criminal activity, a second-degree felony: 17-year-old Ricardo Reyna, 18-year-old Isayah Ramirez, 19-year-old Viviana Gonzales, 18-year-old Thomas Henderson, 17-year-old Lionel Carrasco, and 17-year-old Demidrean Henderson.
Two more suspects, 18-year-old Luis Aguirre and 19-yeare-old Isaiah Lara, are still wanted by police.
A probable cause affidavit stated detectives learned through the course of the investigation that the suspects had split into several factions, which began rivaling with each other. These groups would perform drive-by shootings on one another’s residences. One of the shootings, in the 1300 block of Eidson Avenue in March, led to the injuries of 18-year-old Nathan Stephens, who was shot once in the abdomen and taken to Medical Center Hospital with serious bodily injury, and 19-year-old Desmond Tuggle, who suffered a minor injury on his left hand. Police say Stephens and Tuggle were not involved.
Four more suspects were arrested in connection to the Eidson shooting: 17-year-old Jarius Llanez, 18-year-old Tyler Scott, 17-year-old Ricardo Reyna and 18-year-old Robert Lujan. OPD Spokesman Steve LeSueur said they were only arrested in connection to that shooting, and have not been linked to any other shootings, but said the investigation is still ongoing.
Several interviews were conducted with various members of the groups confirming there was conflict, the affidavit detailed, and detectives learned the members had shot at each other, presented firearms against the others or committed violent acts on multiple occasions.
Several bullets and spent shell casings were collected from each scene, the affidavit stated, and detectives identified a consistent pattern between each scene, linking the calibers to specific individuals under investigation.
Each of the six suspects were taken to the Ector County Detention Center Monday, jail records show, where they still are, and each has a $75,000 bond.