A Durango man was formally charged with aggravated robbery on Thursday in 6th Judicial District Court in connection with a shooting incident that occurred in a high-density housing area north of town.
Samuel Navarro, 51, appeared without an attorney to be advised of the charges. He told District Judge Nathaniel Baca that he plans to apply for a public defender.
During a brief exchange outside the courtroom, Navarro said he is a Gulf War veteran and had a psychotic break the night of the shooting. He said he had a right to be upset, but didn’t explain further. He wore camouflage pants and a black shirt to the court hearing.
Several people called 911 shortly after 10 p.m. Sept. 25 in the 34300 block of U.S. Highway 550, north of Hermosa. The area includes the Hermosa Hill Condominiums and Animas Village Apartments, as well as townhomes and single-unit housing.
According to an arrest affidavit, neighbors reported two shots being fired and a man shouting, cursing and claiming he shot someone, according to the affidavit.
A La Plata County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived to find Navarro “emotionally elevated, foaming at the mouth and rambling nonsensically,” according to the affidavit.
“Sam told me he had been doing cocaine,” Deputy Brayton Thurber wrote in his report.
Navarro would not calm down. Deputies tried to place him under arrest, but he resisted for several minutes and ignored commands, according to the affidavit.
Deputies recovered a .45 caliber handgun in a driveway and two spent casings nearby. They also collected a rock hammer that neighbors saw him wielding.
A woman came out of her house to investigate the sound of gunshots. Navarro, with a gun in his hand, demanded that the woman call 911, according to the affidavit. Navarro, with his gun still drawn, grabbed the woman’s cellphone and dialed 911. He then threw the phone to the driveway, the report says.
He was charged with aggravated robbery, a felony, for taking the woman’s phone while armed with a handgun, the Sheriff’s Office said in an earlier interview.
Navarro was also formally charged with prohibited use of a weapon, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.