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Man arrested on suspicion of armed robbery north of Hermosa

Suspect fired two gunshots into the air before surrendering to law enforcement

HERMOSA – A Durango man has been arrested in connection with a shooting incident that occurred late Monday near the Animas Village Apartments north of Hermosa.

Samuel Navarro, 51, was being held Wednesday on suspicion of aggravated robbery, prohibited use of a weapon, violation of a protection order and resisting arrest, said Lt. Pat Downs with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

Navarro is suspected of firing two gunshots into the air and demanding a woman’s phone while holding a gun, Downs said.

“He demanded her phone, for whatever reason, and she gave him her phone,” he said. “And when you have a gun in your hand and you ask somebody for something, that's robbery.”

The disturbance occurred in single-unit housing just west of the Animas Village Apartments.

Neighbors said the commotion began shortly after 10 p.m. Monday.

Law enforcement flew a drone and worked for about an hour to get the man into custody, said Linda M. Jones, a resident of the Animas Village Apartments. About eight deputies returned midday Tuesday to comb a hillside and interview witnesses, she said.

Jones said she was inside her apartment when she heard the gunshots fired on a hillside near the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge tracks. Jones said her son, who also lives in the area, also heard the gunshots.

She called 911, but dispatch had already been made aware of the situation, Jones said.

“In these apartment buildings we hear domestic things going on, but no gunshots,” she said.

The gunshots were fired near a large private home that is separate from the Animas Village Apartments. The suspect walked down a hillside toward the apartment complex, she said. He yelled for about an hour, repeating the words “I didn't know, I didn't know, I didn't know,” she said.

“He was totally out of it, and the police were very patient and calming,” Jones said. “… They were professional, they were kind and patient, but he was belligerent and wouldn't stop.”

She said the man was eventually arrested and taken away.

She said law enforcement remained on scene until about midnight. About eight deputies and investigators returned about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to search a hillside.

Jones and another neighbor said they suspect the deputies were looking for bullet casings.


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