Three Harker Heights men were arrested Thursday on charges stemming from a Tuesday gun deal that left one teen dead near Harker Heights High School.
Endy Neri Soto, 19, was booked into the Bell County Jail on a charge of deadly conduct discharge of a firearm — a third-degree felony. Soto’s bond was set at $500,000 by Justice of the Peace Gregory Johnson on Thursday.
Ethan West Trainer, 19, was booked into the Bell County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery, according to the jail website. His bond amount was not listed.
Taja Monroe West, 21, was booked into the Bell County Jail, charged with aggravated robbery and is being held on a $500,000 bond.
The arrests were made in connection with the fatal shooting of Quinton Ford, 19, who died after police said he was found shot and bleeding in a wooded area near the high school.
According to an arrest affidavit for Soto, Harker Heights police were dispatched at 11 p.m. Tuesday to the 1000 block of East Knights Way for a call of shots fired. The caller had observed three vehicles — one black, one white, and one silver — in the parking lot.
Upon arrival, Heights police stopped a black vehicle occupied by Endy Neri Soto and a juvenile girl. A white vehicle with visible bullet holes was stopped in the area, driven by Ethan West Trainer, according to police.
Soto, Trainer and the juvenile were taken to the Harker Heights Police Department to give statements, police said.
Soto told detectives “he had been communicating with Ethan Trainer regarding Trainer buying a handgun from Neri Soto,” according to an affidavit. Soto told police the transaction was supposed to take place at the school.
After he showed Trainer the handgun, while Trainer was counting his money for the transaction, Soto said a silver car drove into the parking lot, blocking Soto’s vehicle between the silver car and Trainer’s white car, police said.
“Neri Soto stated that two people then got out of the vehicle with handguns” and began shooting, according to the affidavit. Soto said he took cover behind his vehicle when a male wearing a yellow sweatshirt, later identified as Ford, came around the backseat where Soto’s girlfriend was seated and Soto’s AR-15 was located, according to the affidavit. “Soto stated he shot at the man in the yellow sweatshirt, believing he saw the man with a handgun,” police said.
Soto told police the man ran toward the woods.
Trainer said Ford told him “I’m hit ... I gotta go,” before Trainer got into his vehicle and drove away while Soto fired rounds at the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
The juvenile with Soto gave detectives a recording she took of some of the events, police said.
Ford was found in a nearby wooded area, according to the affidavit.
Trainer told police “that he knew Ford was coming to the scene and that Ford was planning on robbing Neri Soto, though Trainer denied being a part of the robbery.”
Ford was later pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Gregory Johnson at Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights.
As the investigation continues, police ask those with information to call detectives at 254-953-5400 and select option #2.