2 arrested in connection to shooting on Santa Fe Trail that injured Dallas artist
DALLAS - Dallas police arrested two men who they say shot a jogger on the Santa Fe Trail in Old East Dallas last month.
Jonathan Chapa, 21, and Gilbert Uvalle, 20, were arrested on August 18 and are currently in the Dallas County Jail on multiple charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Family members say artist Antonio Lechuga was finishing a five-mile run on the popular exercise trail on July 15, when he was shot twice in the chest.
Lechuga, who is still recovering in the hospital after multiple surgeries, told family members he barely heard the shots since he was wearing headphones. He did not see a shooter.
His family said he has a lengthy road to recovery, including damage to his kidneys, but he’s continuing to fight.
"This was an innocent bystander who was injured that day," said Kristin Lowman, with Dallas PD.
Dallas police confirmed to FOX 4 that Lechuga was hit by gunfire not intended for him.
"We know that the community was concerned about the safety because they didn’t know if it was an isolated incident. They didn’t know if someone was targeted [or] not targeted," Lowman added.
Dallas PD said the shooting stems from two groups that were fighting, and the shots that hit Lechuga came from someone in a vehicle.
Chapa and Uvalle were identified during unrelated burglary investigations.
"There were interviews that were done, further investigation. Just basically, good police work by the detectives ultimately led to identifying the suspects," Lowman said.
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Patty Rodriguez, whose family lives in the area, saw the shooting. She said she told police the shots came from the front-passenger’s side of a car.
"And when I heard the gunshots I just turned and that’s when I saw the white car," she recalled. "It was like 10-13 gunshots…like, right whenever they got done shooting, they just took off."
City of Dallas officials said, typically, more than 1,000 people use the Santa Fe Trail each day.
Dallas PD said that since the shooting, it has stepped up patrols in the Old East Dallas neighborhood near the shooting.