By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Vandals shot out car and building windows at “three or four” Route 66 businesses over the weekend, according to Pete Rivera, assistant chief of the Tucumcari Police Dept.
Rivera said the weekend shooting spree was likely “a very isolated incident.” The weapon was probably a BB or pellet gun, he said.
He said police had not heard anything as of Tuesday that would lead to a suspect but said, “we hope we get ‘em.”
The shooter, he said, seems to have acted “just to be mean. This was just malicious.”
The most notable damage reported was the loss of all windows in a 1957 Hudson that had been sitting untouched for months at the re-painted service station next to the Blue Swallow Motel, according to Blue Swallow owner Kevin Mueller, who also owns the gas station lot.
Mueller said the rear window of that car will be very difficult to replace, since it is curved window whose design was unique on a long-defunct brand.
Joe Ysco, owner of Joe’s Back in the Day Café, is offering a $1,000 reward for turning in the culprit, once that person has been arrested and convicted. Holes were shot into three windows at his business and window replacement is already costing him $700, he said.
“This is just senseless,” Mueller said. “This is disappointing and frustrating.”
Mueller, who has owned and operated the Blue Swallow for 2-1/2 years, said he wants to think his business is “doing something good” for the community, but incidents like this, “makes you not want to do this.”
Ysco, who has been in business for less than a year, just said, “This is messed up.”