THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

2 charged after fake fight, shooting in N.M.

Associated Press / August 25, 2010

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ROSWELL, N.M. — Police have charged two people with misdemeanors after a staged fight outside a grocery store sent officers responding to emergency calls about a shooting that turned out to be faked.

Police in the southeastern New Mexico city of Roswell arrested Nevada Smith, 26, and Delilah Cole, 24, on Monday in connection with Saturday’s incident.

Officer Travis Holley, a police spokesman, said a group staged an argument in a parking lot about 8 p.m., and as it escalated, Smith fired blanks at another person from a real gun.

The supposed victim used condiments from a fast-food restaurant as fake blood, then the group loaded the limp body in a pickup and fled, Holley said.

“It was a very immature and a very dangerous stunt to pull,’’ Holley said.

“Everybody enjoys a good joke,’ he said, “but there are some things you don’t joke about.’’

Police received multiple 911 calls, including some from “people who were hysterical because they thought they witnessed this shooting,’’ he said.

One of those who called, Donna Clark, said it didn’t look like a joke to her.

“It was real to me at the time,’’ she said. “This joke went too far.’’

More than a half-dozen police officers, plus homicide detectives and a crime scene unit, responded, police said.

Smith was charged with misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, negligent use of a firearm, being a public nuisance, and discharge of a firearm in city limits.

Cole was charged with being a public nuisance and disorderly conduct, Holley said.

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