ActivePaper Archive Hobbs man charged in December shooting - Hobbs News Sun, 1/3/2019

Hobbs man charged in December shooting

A man was shot three times in the leg and transported to a hospital in Lubbock early one morning late last month.

Justin Paul Bates, 23, of Hobbs, allegedly shot someone three times around 8:30 a.m. Dec. 22 in the 700 block of North Linam Street, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hobbs Magistrate Court.

“Officer arrived on scene and heard a male subject screaming from the second story ...” the complaint reads.

A Hobbs Police Department officer found three spent bullets and blood in a bedroom of the residence where the shooting occurred.

“I also observed several ‘bongs’ commonly used to ingest illegal narcotics inside the bedroom,” the officer wrote.

The victim was treated on scene by Hobbs EMS before he was transported to Lea Regional Medical Center, then airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock.

The victim said he encountered Bates when he was checking on a friend who had been “in trouble the last few days,” according to police reports.

“(The victim) said he told Justin ‘Hi,’ and Justin told him ‘get the (expletive) away from me,’” the criminal complaint reads.

The victim said Bates then stood up, shot him and fled the scene.

On Dec. 30, an officer discovered Bates was incarcerated in Hobbs City Jail on unrelated charges.

Bates reportedly told police he was smoking meth when the victim called Bates’ friend and told her he was coming over. The friend informed the shooting victim that Bates was at the residence because she knew Bates and the victim didn’t get along.

“(The victim) told (the friend) that he ‘didn’t give an (expletive) who was there’ and that he was on his way over,” the officer reported.

Bates said he had problems with the victim before the incident. Bates said he was sitting on the ground when the victim arrived and approached him kicking his foot.

According to Bates, the two exchanged a few words while the victim stood over him and provoked him before Bates shot him.

“He told (the victim) again, ‘Get the (expletive) away from me.’ Justin said (the victim) then stood over him and said, ‘Or what?’” the criminal complaint reads.

Bates said he then stood up and shot the victim three times on instinct with a 9mm handgun.

Bates was arrested Dec. 31, about a week after the shooting, and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony.

Sara MacNeil can be reached at