NewsChannel 9 EXCLUSIVE: Man Shot in Hudspeth County Speaks

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 10:20pm

UPDATED: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 12:31pm

"We Were Only Shot Because We Are Hispanic"

FABENS- Tonight's top story is quickly turning into a West Texas version of the Hatfields and McCoys.  A Hudspeth County man shot two people.  He claims they were trespassing.  NewsChannel 9's Matt Rivers is the only reporter who spoke with one of the gunshot victims.

"He was thinking about buying land again so we thought we'd go check it out," said Norangel Velez.

A short trip to scout land went horribly wrong when Norangel Velez and his dad made a wrong turn onto property that wasn't theirs.

"Before we knew it all we heard was gunshots.  And we were yelling at whoever it was to stop, we were raising our hands, stop, stop, we're just driving through and he unloaded a whole clip on us," Velez said.

The property owner had pulled up behind Velez and his dad and opened fire.  The pair rolled out of the truck, begging him to stop as the rancher yelled out instructions.

"Get down, get down, I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you. That's all he ever said, he never said anything else but that. He never said freeze, he never gave us a warning, he never came out in front of us and say what we're doing here, just boom, boom boom," Velez said.

Norangel was shot once, his father three times. The clothes his father was wearing were soaked with blood.

"I thought we were going to die. I thought that there was no way we were ever going to get out of there. My dad jumped on me to save me, he saved my life, by jumping on top of me and taking those last two shots into his back," Velez said.

Norangel convinced the rancher to drive the pair to get help, and he did. The men ended up at the Fabens Fire Station.

EMT's met them there and whisked Norangel's father to the hospital.  He's expected to survive but Norangel says this is far from over.

"What he did was wrong and the only reason he shot was because we were Hispanic.  It's the only reason he shot.  He thought we were immigrants.  I've lived here all my life.  I want to do the best I can, I'm suing him for everything he's got for what he did to us," said Velez.

The rancher's identity has not been released.  It's unclear if the rancher will face criminal charges.

Comments News Comments

How many times has this rancher been robbed? If he has been attacked several more times than the normal person, how many more times does he need to be robbed? Sorry they were shot, but when you trespass then you take the chance of getting shot and Velaz, you did not win the lottery. I hope that rancher sues you and your father for trespassing and the pain and suffering you caused him.

Not saying that the "rancher" was right or wrong. There has never been any Sheriff's protection in the Sunset Ranches Area. There are dozens of break ins every year. Being a victim of one where I lost over $5000.00 in tools, propane tanks, generators and solar panels. I can understand the fear that one can have. Any strange vehicles running around out here brings a fear that someone maybe a neighbor or a friend might get ripped off is a real fear to me.

You can already see the dollar signs in this guys eyes.

jaselp who cares if some words were mispelled. We have more important things in life to worry about like my unlce and cousin getting shot. The rancher should have given them a warning before shooting. So please keep your comments to yourself. lizy

Lizy, although I am sure that you and your family are upset over the situation, I point out the editor's mistakes because not only are we, locals reading these articles, but many people from around the country. I am sure that educated comments are the least from your minds, but the truth to the matter is that when people are hired to report the news, it would be great if we could seem like an educated city! And I can type my comments, whatever they may be, you know, American freedom of speech!

So just because you are not an illegal Immigrant you have the right to enter someone’s property? Wouldn’t it been better to check in with the rancher especially of you are thinking of being his neighbor?

I'm all for protecting my property but this is just uncalled for. You don't shoot people just because they enter your property. That is just not right. These guys were unarmed and showed no agression towards the rancher. Haven't heard the rancher's side but it is hard to imagine he was in any danger to act as he did.

So, if some one breaks into your house, and don't show any aggression then it is OK, to let them be there? Are you a little loopy? Someone is on your property, then you have the right to defend yourself. Perhaps this rancher is 90 and 2 younger Hispanics, he felt afraid for himself. I can't say how I would handle it, but I won't judge others, not my job.

"because we are hispanic" is probably not the reason. After all, 99.9% of west Texans are "hispanic".

All I have to say is whoever wrote this article is illiterate!
"Before we knew it all we head was gunshots.
All we head, or heard?
"He never said freeze, he never have<<< (you mean gave) us a warning, he never came out in front of us and say what we're doing here, just boom, boom boom," Velez said.

There are so many English majors that are out of work right now!

So then, let me get this right....
If someone is illegal trespassing on your property, you are allowed to shoot them, provided that they are not Hispanic?
I am not saying that the rancher, whoever he was, is right or wrong for defending his property. I do not know enough of the facts to make that judgment. However Mr. Velez makes it sound as if he was only shot for being Hispanic. Following his logic, you can not defend yourself against 70 to 80 percent of the local population.

This man from the ranch should get arrested.

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