Another man arrested in shooting incident

Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, March 22, 2012

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G allup city police arrested Mika-John Lowley, 22, of Church Rock, N.M., Monday in connection with two attacks by a man using a BB gun that occurred in the Gallup area the night of March 12.

According to police reports, Lowley walked up to a man pumping gas at the Shell Station in east Gallup about 8:30 p.m. and demanded money. The man refused and Lowley reportedly shot him several times with a BB gun.

Lowley allegedly drove to the Fire Rock Navajo Casino and accosted a non-Native man in the parking lot.

He once again demanded money and when the man said he didn't have any, Lowley allegedly shot him several times with the BB gun.

Both victims were taken to area hospitals and treated for the wounds. Both were released later that night.

Bob Winter, CEO of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, said the casino cooperated with Navajo police, Gallup police and the FBI.

"We have more than 300 cameras in the casino and in the parking lot," Winter said, adding that several picked up Lowley's vehicle as it entered the parking lot. The cameras also picked up the confrontation between the victim and Lowley as well.

Gallup's deputy police chief, John Allen, said the photos provided the police with a detailed look at the car, which had several distinctive characteristics that helped police recognize it again.

A description of the vehicle was given to all area law enforcement officers and on Thursday, a Gallup narcotics detective saw the vehicle parked on the east side of town.

Police traced the license plate to the owner who provided police with information that led to Lowley's arrest on Monday. He was charged with aggravated battery in connection with the attack of the man at the Shell Station.

Lowley is also facing tribal and federal charges in connection with the attack at the casino.

Winter said that because of all of the cameras at the casino, it's impossible to commit a crime there that will not be captured on one or more of the cameras.

He also pointed out that there is a Navajo Nation Police substation located at the casino police officers helped casino officials close down the facility at the time of the attack.

Casino staff decided to close down the casino early that night after reports were received about a shooting on Dairy Drive in Gallup earlier that evening. This shooting had no connection with the attacks by Lowley, said Allen.

But Winter said that the casino has a plan in case of such a situation and it called for locking up the casino and taking precautions.

He added that there is always a danger whenever there is money involved and individuals leaving the casino may have a lot of cash because of their winnings.

"That's why we encourage anyone who wins a lot of money to take it in the form of a check instead of cash," Winter said, adding that most big winners do take checks instead of cash.

For example, recently a patron won $27,000 rand Winter said that person took the winnings in a check instead of cash.

But because of this incident, security is being beefed up at not only Fire Rock but also at the tribe's newest casino, Northern edge, in Upper Fruitland.

Winter said that emergency phones are being installed in the parking lots at both sites so that if any trouble occurs, patrons will be able to get in touch with security immediately.

Tuba City man arrested for stabbing

Navajo police are investigating a stabbing that occurred in Tuba City on March 18.

Christina Holgate called police about 11:50 a.m. and reported that her son, William Holgate, 27, of Tuba City, had been stabbed by Hank Bitsuie, 30, also of Tuba City.

She told police that family members were transporting the victim to the Tuba City hospital.

While police units were enroute to Coalmine Street, where the stabbing reportedly took place, dispatchers reported receiving several phone calls from individuals who said that Bitsuie was still in the area.

Police located him at one of the houses on Bitsuie's property and arrested him for aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon.

Tso indicted in double shooting

PHOENIX - On March 13, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned an eight-count indictment against Lee Kinder Tso, 50, of Many Farms, Ariz., for violations of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The indictment alleges that on Feb. 3, Tso used a rifle to shoot two people on the Navajo Reservation, causing them serious physical injury.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both for each count of the assault charges.

Use of a firearm during a crime of violence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison, to run consecutive to - after - any other prison time imposed.

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