A man mowing his Lincoln Street yard last Saturday may have uncovered a key piece of evidence in a recent drive-by shooting.

The homeowner found a high caliber handgun, El Campo Police Lt. Russell Urban said.

β€œThe gun was reported stolen out of Odessa PD. This is most likely the gun used in the first drive by shooting on Cotton Street as this is the area where the suspect vehicle was stopped and the passenger fled on foot from the vehicle,” Urban said.

Two El Campo men are accused of firing six shots in the 900 block of Cotton around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, hitting nothing.

Christopher Jason Melchor, 20, of 311 Ave. G and John Puentes Jr., 20, of 502 Oscar, were arrested for deadly conduct- discharging a firearm in the Sunday case.

The charge is a third degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 if convicted.

Melchor was also charged with resisting arrest, evading arrest and warrants for possession of a controlled substance and failure to appear.

Puentes posted a $15,000 bond and was released Sept. 2 while Melchor posted $20,000 in bonds and was released Wednesday, Sept. 11.

No arrests have been made in a second drive by shooting, believed to have targeted one of the two men.

Twenty one bullets were fired into a home in the 500 block of South Washington in the pre-dawn hours Sept. 4, missing a man and a woman sleeping inside.

β€œ(They) could very easily have been hit,” Urban said.

That shooting appears to be retaliation, he added.

Anyone who saw who fired the shots on South Washington is urged to contact either the El Campo Police Department at 979-543-5311 or the West Wharton County Crime Stoppers at 979-543-8477.

Callers to the Crime Stoppers Tip Line do not have to give their names to qualify for a cash reward.

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