Stephen Washburn

Stephen Washburn

HEBER — The Navajo County sheriff sent out a press release Wednesday morning detailing a shooting in Heber, which resulted in the arrest of Stephen Washburn, 31, of Heber.

NCSO deputies, “criminal investigators” and the Major Crimes Apprehension Team responded to a call at the Family Dollar store in Overgaard at around 2 p.m. on Nov, 22.

It seems employees said that a man was seen trying to get into vehicles that the employees knew did not belong to the man. When questioned by store staff, the man, later identified as Washburn, stated that he had been shot and to call for help. He then fled.

According to the press release, Washburn was at another nearby business and threatened the business owner with a knife. Whether that incident was before or after the Family Dollar incident is unclear, but the owner was able to get out of the business and Washburn fled in a vehicle.

Deputies quickly found and stopped the vehicle. Washburn was arrested on a warrant from some other problem, was “cleared by a medical facility and booked” into the county jail, stated the release.

Authorities learned the location of the shooting — a residence at which Washburn allegedly entered with two knives around 3:30 p.m. The resident there reportedly shot Washburn in the leg after he refused to leave and began advancing toward the resident.

The NCSO conducted a search of the residence pursuant to a warrant and collected “items of evidence” there, according to the press release. The investigation is ongoing.

With regard to the warrant Washburn was arrested on, court records show a warrant out of the Show Low Justice Court for a Stephen Washburn, age 31, on misdemeanor charges: two counts of disorderly conduct, one count of assault and two counts of failure to appear. Bond was set at $1,500. A defendant by the same name has pending charges in Snowflake and Pioneer Justice courts for misdemeanors alleging various violent behavior and theft.

A Stephen Washburn, age 31, also has case histories in Navajo County Superior Court. One case alleging a felony count of kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, along with three misdemeanors, were filed in that court on Oct. 4, but the state moved to dismiss them about one week later, “in the interest of justice,” stated the prosecutor’s motion. However, on Oct. 25, a new case was filed against the same defendant and someone posted a $500 bond in the case. That case is so new that the charges aren’t even listed yet. It could be a refile of the Oct. 4 charges. In any event, Washburn is presumed by law to be innocent and this story will be updated as details become available.

Reach the reporter at rlynch@wmicentral.com

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