Arrests follow N.M. shooting hoax

Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM
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ROSWELL, N.M., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A hoax involving a faked shooting that terrified shoppers in Roswell, N.M., has resulted in arrests, authorities said.

Police say three of the four pranksters involved in the Saturday incident have been arrested and the fourth, reportedly out of town, is expected to turn himself in to police when he returns, KOB-TV, Albuquerque, reported.

Witnesses said gunfire erupted in the parking lot of the Farmer's Country Market in Roswell and 911 callers reported seeing a man shot in the chest and thrown into the back of a pickup truck in what turned out to be an elaborately staged prank, KOB-TV said.

Police have arrested Nevada Smith, 26, his girlfriend 24-year-old Delilah Cole and Jeffrey Bornemann, 26. Richard Welton, the fourth suspect, is expected to turn himself in.

Police say they believe Smith played the part of the shooter and used a real gun to shoot Welton with blanks during a staged argument.

Authorities said Delilah Cole had her 19-month-old baby inside the get-away truck while the scene played out.

"We never got a straight answer as to why. One of the subjects told one of the officers he wanted to see what the public's reaction would be," Roswell police officer Travis Holley said.

All four now face a number of charges and could be held responsible for compensating police for responding to the incident, The Albuquerque Journal reported.

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