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Felon’s firearm outside house fire found loaded, with safety off


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The man who retrieved a firearm from his residence Wednesday after firefighters extinguished a fire in his home was charged with possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, a fourth-degree felony.

According to a statement of probable cause by Roswell Police Department Detective Gino T. Basile, it was around 12:42 p.m. when the Roswell Fire Department was dispatched to 614 E. Albuquerque St. in reference to the report of a structure fire.

Basile said upon arrival to the scene, firefighters Miguel Flores and Scott Bruns said while they were inside the residence, they observed a man entering the home through the back.

“The firefighters told the male subject he could not be inside of the residence at that time due to the fire,” the report stated. “The male subject did not leave.”

Basile said after the man, later identified as 53-year-old Danny Ray Bowen, had refused to leave, police were called to remove him around 1:02 p.m.

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“The male subject walked away from the firefighters, further into the house,” the report stated. “The male subject grabbed something and then started walking back towards firefighters.”

Firefighters saw Bowen holding what appeared to be a gray, short barrel shotgun with duct tape on its handle, the report stated. In response, firefighters left the residence and took cover.

“Fire department units then advised that the subject was armed with a shotgun,” Basile stated. “Officer Rodriguez arrived on scene and detained the male subject.”

Police said Bowen waived his Miranda rights and spoke with authorities.

According to the report, Bowen told police he resided at 614 E. Albuquerque St. with a roommate. Bowen also said while he owns “numerous” pellet guns, he does not own an actual gun, but rather, a pellet gun that has been modified that may resemble a real gun.

Further, Bowen told police he had been given some items, and while going through them, he came across 12-gauge shotgun shells in a white box, which was in his kitchen, next to a sink.

Basile said he requested to run a criminal history inquiry on Bowen, to which he confirmed him as a felon with a felony conviction within the last 10 years.

Police said in February 2008, Bowen was found guilty of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence, both fourth-degree felonies.

On November 2015, police said Bowen was found guilty of trafficking controlled substances, a second-degree felony, and possession of a controlled substance, a fourth-degree felony.

After authorities obtained a search warrant, police found a 12-gauge short barrel shotgun covered in silver duct tape and with a red cloth tied to it in the backyard of the residence.

“There was a shotgun shell in the chamber, and the safety was off when the firearm was located,” the report stated. “There was an additional four shotgun shells in the tube on the firearm.”

After police found the functioning shotgun, they spoke to Bowen again.

“He has had this shotgun for a long time — he bought it from a pawn shop.” Bowen had told authorities. “When the fire was going on at his residence, he went to go outside and saw it sitting in the kitchen, so he grabbed it and took it outside. He never pointed it at anyone — he kept the shotgun in (his roommate’s) room.

“He described the shotgun as a 12-gauge, wrapped in duct tape, with a red robe tied on it.”

Bowen is charged with possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, a fourth-degree felony.

Bowen had his first appearance in Chaves County Court before Magistrate Judge K. C. Rogers Thursday afternoon.

A preliminary examination for Bowen is set for Feb. 13 before Magistrate Judge E. J. Fouratt.

According to the Chaves County Detention Center, Bowen remains in custody with no bond.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com

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