Five arrested in shooting released pending investigation

November 28, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The county Sheriff's Office has released all five men arrested over the weekend for their alleged involvement in a gun battle that left a man with three gunshot wounds.

Gabe Vela, lead investigator for the Sheriff's Office in the case, said the decision was made to release all five Tuesday because further investigation is needed.

One key point is determining who drew a weapon and fired first.

He said based on reports from witnesses "it is unclear who drew a weapon first."

The case involves a shootout between people from two camps in the Imperial Sand Dunes on Saturday.

According to information released about the case, a man from one of the camps drove a quad into the second camp and reportedly asked to borrow a motorcycle.

That man drove off on the motorcycle, but then returned on foot to pick up the quad.

Those in the second camp would not release the quad until the motorcycle was returned.


Vela said the man left the camp without the quad and a group of five men from his camp returned to get the vehicle.

An argument occurred, handguns were drawn and shots were fired.

Arvel Reeves, from the second camp, was shot three times. The 66-year-old Reeves, a Mesa, Ariz., resident, was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, then airlifted to a hospital in San Diego.

Information on his condition was unavailable this morning.

There were no other injuries in the shooting.

The five arrested — all from the first camp — were Glenn Howard Baker, 31, of Placentia, George Anthony Falkenstein, 23, of Hesperia, his brother, Timothy Allen Falkenstein, 25, of Orange, Timothy Shawn O'Brien, 22, of Hesperia, and Jay Tennesen Ollestad, 23, of Placentia.

All were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and booked into the county jail on $100,000 bail.

All had to be charged Wednesday by the District Attorney's Office or released.

Vela said after talking with DA's Office officials, it was decided that more investigation was needed before charges could be filed.

He said the probe will continue, adding witnesses will be re-interviewed to solidify the facts, including the specific events that led to the shooting and who fired first.

Vela said the goal is "to determine factually what led up to this."

Vela said it could take a few months to complete the investigation.

>>Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles