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Alleged shooter targets wrong Las Cruces home

Mug shot of Willie Yanez. He's charged with one count of shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Las Cruces police arrested a man suspected in last week's shooting that damaged a home a vehicle and came close to injuring a young girl asleep inside a home on Lees Drive, police said.

Willie Yanez, 39, of the 7800 block of Kissiah Drive, just outside of city limits, is charged with one count of shooting at a dwelling or occupied building and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. All four charges are fourth-degree felonies.

On Oct. 9 just before 5 a.m., police responded to the report of shots fired at a home on the 1200 block of Lees Drive. Officers arrived to find no injuries but damage to the home and a sport utility vehicle parked nearby. Police said they found shell casings from a .223-caliber rifle near the roadway.

Investigators learned that earlier in the morning, several people were at a party in a room at the Comfort Suites hotel at 236 N. Telshor Blvd. Police said around 3 a.m., one of the partygoers pulled out two handguns to show them off. Another attendee asked to take a picture holding the guns but instead took off running with the two handguns.

Police said the two handguns belonged to Yanez, who was not at the party but was told of the theft.

Investigators believe Yanez wanted to retaliate, so he met friends at Young Park and went to the 1200 block of Lees Drive, where he fired multiple rounds at a home. They said Yanez targeted the wrong home, as one of the rounds penetrated a bedroom and struck an object just inches above where a young girl was sleeping.

No injuries were reported in the shooting, said police.

Yanez was arrested on Wednesday on a warrant charging him with violating terms of his probation. Charges related to the Oct. 9 shooting were filed Friday, Oct. 13.

Yanez was arrested Sept. 1 after an hourslong SWAT call-out at the Hampton Inn, 1641 Hickory Loop. At the time, Yanez was wanted on a warrant for failing to comply with conditions of his probation.

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