Jewelry heist ignited shooting
Report: Victim jumped from car, shot during robbery attempt
A shooting last week near the Ute Mountain Casino occurred during a jewelry heist.
In an interview with Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office Detective Tyson Cox, suspect Ivan Martin, 25, of Farmington, N.M., said Robert Rodriguez was the triggerman in the shooting that occurred Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Court records reveal both Martin and Rodriguez were inside the casino playing slots when Stefen Chihockey, 22, approached the men to sell jewelry. Martin told Cox that Rodriguez then suggested they rob Chihockey.
All three men reportedly drove away from the casino. According to Cox’s written report, Martin said he was driving about 40 mph when Rodriguez attempted to rob the victim at gunpoint with a 20-gauge shotgun. That’s when Chihockey reportedly escaped by jumping from the moving vehicle, reports show.
As the victim leaped from the automobile, Martin said he heard a loud bang. Chihockey was airlifted from the scene, suffering from a gunshot wound to the right shoulder. He has since been released from the hospital.
After the shooting, Martin said he and Rodriguez left the vehicle on the roadside and fled into an open field. Court records reveal law enforcement tracked the two men for six miles, but neither was apprehended on the night in question.
Reports show Martin turned himself in the next day after being spotted at a grocery store in Shiprock, N.M. Charged Friday, Sept. 13, with a single Class 3 felony count of aggravated robbery, Martin remains in custody on a $75,000 bond.
A Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman confirmed that U.S. Marshals apprehended a man on Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz. It’s believed that individual is wanted in connection to the case, but neither law enforcement nor the district attorney’s office would release the individual’s name.
The writ of habeas corpus is a legal instrument to safeguard individual freedom against arbitrary state action, and under both state and federal laws, names of individual’s taken into custody by law enforcement are required to be made available to the public.