Defendant charged in Zuni shooting case

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Nicholas Pinto has been charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence in Indian Country. Pinto, 23, of Zuni, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Zuni, appeared for a detention hearing on Sept. 26, and will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to a criminal complaint, on Sept. 17, Pinto and another person arrived at the home of a Zuni resident, identified as John Doe. Pinto allegedly had a conflict with one of the people at the residence. To avoid any fighting in the residence, John Doe forced Pinto to leave.

Later, in the early morning of Sept. 18, Pinto allegedly returned to the residence. John Doe answered a knock at the door to find Pinto with a shotgun. As John Doe attempted to walk away, Pinto allegedly shot him in the leg. Pinto allegedly attempted to shoot John Doe again, but the shotgun failed to fire.

John Doe, who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Zuni, received emergency treatment at the scene and was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital for care.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Pinto faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Zuni Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Nayback is prosecuting the case.

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