Volunteers from the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group northeast of the Valley fell victim to a shooting over the weekend and now two people are behind bars.
Sunday just after 5:00 p.m. volunteers were finishing feeding the horses at their rescue along State Route 87 near mile post 197 when the unthinkable happened.
“I heard four gunshots just pop pop pop pop,” said Bren Schultz, Director of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. “Then there was a brief pause and then we heard two or three more gunshots.”
Director Bren Schultz and her husband Ryan hopped in their vehicle to see who did this. Although this isn’t recommended, they were able to get a picture of the suspect’s truck including a license plate number.
“I don’t look forward to doing it again,” said Ryan Schultz. “It was scary. My kids were right here, my wife was out here, everything that I love was out here and it could have been gone.”
This information helped DPS track down the suspects quickly. DPS took the driver Antonio Flores Gonzales, 36, and the passenger Anselmo Parades Gonzales, 38, into custody.
Troopers found a handgun and ammunition in the truck. Their charges include DUI, misconduct with a firearm and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
“We’re hoping it is not something against our group or against wild horses but at this point we don’t really know that yet,” said Simone Netherlands, President. “We just really thank that no one was hurt, no horse was shot. To see the trajectory from where the bullet hole is to where they shot at us a horse could have been hit, a kid could have been hit, one of our volunteers could have been hit so we’re just really thankful that didn’t happen.”