Records: Argument preceded Friday shooting
Last updated 5/18/2021 at 3:03pm
An argument preceded a gunshot Friday that left a Portales woman dead, court records show.
Shona Williams, who friends and family identified as Quintasha Harris’ girlfriend, was arrested Monday for an open count of murder and tampering with evidence in connection with Harris’ death.
Williams, 34, on Tuesday remained in the Roosevelt County Detention Center on a pretrial detention hold.
According to an affidavit filed in Roosevelt County Magistrate Court, the Portales Police Department received a call at 5:33 p.m. Friday reporting a shooting on the 600 block of W. 17th Lane. They discovered Harris unresponsive and bleeding on the floor, with a shell casing next to her. She was pronounced dead after being transported to Roosevelt General Hospital.
In an interview with police, Shona Willams said she and Harris, 38, had an argument, and that a gun Harris introduced to the struggle discharged accidentally. The affidavit alleged inconsistencies with Williams’ story, including whether she held the gun at any point and that her clothes had no signs of blood despite the close-range shooting, and that police body cam footage showed Williams at one point moving the weapon by handling it with a pair of boxer shorts.
Erin Woodard, a friend of Harris’ since high school, told The News she was on a lengthy video call with Harris when the argument with Williams started. The video call continued through the incident, but the phone was not positioned to capture the shooting and Woodard said she didn’t realize until hours later Harris had been shot.
“Everything got quiet, and all I heard was (Williams) scream,” Woodard said, while alleging investigators blew her off in the initial hours following her friend’s death. “I didn’t even hear the gun go off. Tasha told the girl to get the (expletive) out of her house, and she wouldn’t leave.”
Woodard, who said she and Harris bonded in high school, cannot believe her friend is gone. Woodard now lives in Arizona, and said Harris was planning to hang out with Woodard in a few weeks at a youth basketball tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Tasha would do anything for anybody,” Woodard said. “She’d make sure you were straight, then show you how to make your own money.”
Woodard said she didn’t believe Williams had any intent to harm Harris, and had shown an intent to marry her. But Woodard also said the two had their share of arguments since they began dating in February.
Harris’ aunt, Francez Williams of Clovis, told The News on Monday afternoon that her niece was involved in a struggle with Shona Williams, and was shot in the struggle. But she did not know who owned the gun or how it entered the argument. Other relatives of Harris declined interview requests from The News.
Williams is the mother of Caya Williams, who died in a Nov. 29 drive-by shooting at the Sedona Village Apartments. She said the family heard of Harris’ death only hours after celebrating the 23rd birthday of Zahabre Hardmon, Caya’s daughter.
“People need to put the guns down,” Williams said, referencing her family’s losses and other recent area homicides. “There are too many lives that are being lost. Death is permanent. That’s not something you can go back and correct. You take the life of one person, you are affecting everybody around them.”
The region had two other violent incidents over the weekend:
• In Clovis, an unrelated Friday homicide remained under investigation Tuesday. Authorities said the victim in that case was a 16-year-old boy, but they've not released his name. The boy died in a traffic accident connected to reports of gunshots being fired at a car.
• Also in Portales, a shooting reported later Friday evening near the San Juan Village apartment complex, court documents allege, was apparently the result of a drug deal turned robbery attempt. Two were arrested in connection with that incident.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Roosevelt County Magistrate Court, following a traffic stop 18-year-old Luis Ceron was transported to the Roosevelt General Hospital and treated for gunshot wounds to his wrist and shoulder. According to the complaint, Ceron was transported to the Eastern New Mexico University Department of Public Safety office following treatment, and told investigators he set up a marijuana buy with a man he intended to rob; however, that man had a gun of his own and shot Ceron after he brandished his.
Ceron was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
A second criminal complaint charged J’Don Reyes, 18, with the same crimes, along with tampering with evidence and resisting, evading or obstructing a law enforcement officer for allegedly running from the traffic stop with the gun Ceron used in the robbery attempt.
The man alleged to have shot Ceron had not been charged with a crime as of Tuesday.