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Man shot in dunes succumbs

December 28, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

A 66-year-old Mesa, Ariz., man has died from bullet wounds he suffered in a shooting in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The probe into the shooting has become a murder investigation, Imperial County Sheriff's Office Investigator Gabe Vela said this morning.

The man, Arvel Dean Reeves, was shot three times in a dispute Nov. 24 between those from two camp sites over a motorcycle and a quad.

Reeves died Dec. 21, Vela said, adding there were few new details he could release in the case this morning.

He said the investigation is ongoing, adding there have been no further arrests in the case. Vela added evidence has been gathered and sent to the state Department of Justice for analysis.

Vela said he still is waiting for the results of such lab tests.

Five men were arrested for attempted murder. All were later released without being charged pending further investigation.

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All five were from one camp and had reportedly gone into the camp site Reeves and his family in a dispute over a motorcycle.

According to information released by authorities in November, someone from the camp site from which the five later came had taken or borrowed a motorcycle from Reeves' camp site and left behind a quad.

That person then came back to get the quad without returning the motorcycle.

When those from Reeves' camp did not allow the quad to be returned, the person left and came back with others from his camp site.

An argument ensued and at some point guns were drawn. There was no information provided on who drew a weapon first. Shots were fired and Reeves was hit three times.

The shooting in the dunes and other incidents over the Thanksgiving weekend prompted law enforcement officials to increase their presence in the dunes over the New Year's weekend.

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

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