16 year olds, a boy and girl, charged in Benavides

Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent

Two 16-year-old juveniles were arrested in Benavides last Wednesday, after they allegedly carried out a drive-by shooting on a home in the city.

Duval County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigator Billy Escalante said Friday a 16-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy were the subject of an investigation by the Benavides Police Department and the sheriff's department.

Escalante said shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday dispatchers received a call of shots fired in the 700 block of Santa Rosa de Lima Street in Benavides. At the same time, Benavides police officers on patrol in the area heard the shots and responded to the neighborhood.

Officers initiated a traffic stop on a maroon Chevrolet Camaro observed fleeing the area.

The vehicle was driven by the 16-year-old girl and had one passenger, the 16-year-old boy, Escalante said. The names of the juveniles were withheld by authorities.

After obtaining permission to search the vehicle, officers located a .22 caliber rifle and .25 caliber handgun in the car.

The juveniles were transported to the Duval County Sheriff's Department for questioning, where one of the juveniles confessed to the shooting, Escalante said.

According to reports, earlier in the evening the 16-year-old girl became involved in an argument with an 18-year-old man who was a resident of the home. The girl left the scene but allegedly returned later with the firearms and four shots were fired at the home and into the air.

During a more complete search of the Camaro on Thursday, officers located two spent .22 caliber shell casings, Escalante said.

Both juveniles were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, deadly conduct and unlawful carrying of a firearm. They also face charges of tampering with an identification number as a result of serial numbers that were allegedly scratched off of the .25 caliber handgun.

Following a detention hearing held Friday, the 16-year-old girl was ordered to be held in a Rio Grande Juvenile Detention Center for another 10 days, pending another hearing.

The 16-year-old boy was released to the custody of his parents.