By Mike Linn
A local judge has signed warrants against a father-son duo suspected in the shooting of two men at the Valle del Solle apartments late Sunday night, police said.
Police are searching for Jamie Banda Sr., 45, and Jaime Banda Jr., 22, on charges of aggravated battery, accessory to aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery.
“I still think they’re in the area, because we’ve had some contact with folks who have told us so,” Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said.
The victims of the shooting were Doroteo Sanchez, who was released from Roosevelt General Hospital on Sunday night, and Ernesto Sanchez, a relative, who sustained serious bullet injuries to one of his legs and abdomen. As of Wednesday night family members said Ernesto is still in a Lubbock hospital but improving.
The details of the shooting have taken several twists and turns as police have interviewed witnesses who were at the scene, some describing differing accounts of the same story, Berry said.
“By no means do we think this case is completely resolved,” Berry said. “We realize we’re probably not near the end of the investigation and we will continue to follow up on leads. We anticipate other potential charges to follow, and there may be some other folks charged as well.”
Anna Sanchez, wife of Doroteo, said a feud began at a horse race west of Portales on Sunday afternoon when arguments began to escalate between a member of the Sanchez family and a good friend of Banda Sr.
At the race, Anna said Banda Sr. offered to provide a gun to his friend for protection.
Several hours later, members of the Banda family drove to the Valle del Solle apartments, where many members of the Sanchez family were staying, Anna said.
After police broke up one argument between the feuding bloodlines, the Banda family came back to the apartments and one family member eventually punched Doroteo, who was later shot by Banda Jr. while Banda Sr. shot Ernesto, Anna Sanchez and other witnesses said.
“Whenever it comes to his family, he (Banda Sr.) defends them,” said Anna, who described the elder suspect as 5-foot-7-inches tall and sporting a cowboy hat the night of the shootings.
But some witnesses at the scene, who asked not to be identified, said the incident was not as one-sided as Anna’s account. They claim at least Ernesto was also carrying a gun.
Anna said she couldn’t be sure if Ernesto was carrying a gun, but added that police believed he had been. She said she was sure Doroteo was not carrying a gun.