Alleged gang member wanted in Chaparral drive-by shooting arrested in El Paso


    Jose Zapata is accused in a drive-by shooting that happened in Chaparral, N.M. Credit: El Paso Police

    A suspected Barrio Azteca gang member wanted by U.S. Marshals in connection with a shooting in New Mexico was arrested after trying to flee from a traffic stop in El Paso, police said.

    Investigators with the El Paso Police Department’s gang unit tried to stop a vehicle that they say Jose Zapata, 33, was in Wednesday afternoon.

    Police said that Zapata tried to evade officers by driving through a parking lot and across an apartment complex before stopping in the 5200 block of Woodrow Bean.

    Officers then arrested Zapata, who was found with a hand gun that had its serial number scratched off, officials said.

    Zapata was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service for his alleged involvement in a drive-by shooting in Chaparral.

    Authorities said Zapata shot into a home, and the shooting may be gang-related.

    Zapata was also wanted for a probation violation and has a history of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and drug trafficking charges.

    Authorities said Zapata may be involved in a recent kidnapping that was reported to local authorities. Details about that kidnapping were not released.

    Zapata faces several charges in El Paso, including one count each of evading detention, felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with identification numbers and multiple traffic warrants. He was booked into the El Paso County jail with bonds totaling $45,000.

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