Waldo Casarez with the Curry County Sheriff Department investigates the scene where10-year-old Carlos Perez was shot Thursday at 1316 W. 15th St. Perez died later at that night at a Lubbock hospital. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
A 10-year-old Clovis boy, shot in the head while he slept early Thursday, died Thursday night.
Carlos Perez, a fifth-grader at Clovis’ Cameo Elementary, died at 6:20 p.m. (MDT) at Lubbock’s Covenant Medical Center, police said.
Three arrests were made in connection with the case, though police said no one has been charged with shooting the boy.
Several shots were fired through Carlos’ bedroom window about 2:30 a.m on Thursday, police said. Police Lt. James Schoeffel said Carlos shared the room with his brother, Ruben, who was in the room at the time of the shooting. Ruben Perez was not injured.
Police said Ruben Perez was involved in an altercation with 15-year-old Orlando Salas on Wednesday at Clovis High School.
Salas, his 19-year-old brother Demetrio Salas and his father, Isidoro Salas, 40, were all arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting death. Orlando Salas was arrested when he came to school on Thursday, charged with possession of a knife and aggravated assault. His brother and father were also arrested Thursday and charged with possession of stolen firearms.
Schoeffel said he did not know if the weapons were used in the shooting.
Schoeffel also said he did not know if Carlos Perez was the intended target of the shooter. “I do know there were blinds on the window,” Schoeffel said.
According to a police incident report, there were nine bullet holes in the window.
“This tragedy is magnified because of the senseless act of violence that caused it,” Clovis schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said in a news release from the schools.
The Perez family lives on West 15th Street in an apartment situated at the rear of the complex — the bedroom window visible from a back alley.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said “persons of interest (in the investigation) have claimed gang affiliation in the past.”
Seidenwurm said she believed the shooting may have been gang-related.
A Clovis police report shows Ruben Perez indicated Salas threatened him with a pocket knife on Wednesday. The two teens had an argument over previous incidences of verbal assault, the report said. Ruben Perez told police Orlando Salas approached him again during the school day on Wednesday, and indicated his older brother Demetrio wanted to fight him.
Officers said they are looking for a 1990 GMC Suburban, white in color with a blue strip and New Mexico license plate CJT 999. Schoeffel said an eyewitness saw the vehicle, which is registered to Isidoro Salas, in the area of the shooting.