As children enjoyed a pleasant summer evening at the Karen Hornaday Park playground last Thursday, in the parking lot below Homer Police said an alleged drug dealer, Reily Arambul, 20, fired a single shotgun slug into the door of a white Jeep Cherokee. The round went through the lower door panel and into the floorboard, missing the driver, Sean Carpenter, 26, and a man in the back seat.
No one was injured in the shooting and no other shots were fired.
Homer Police Lt. Will Hutt said the shooting took place near bathrooms at the lower parking lot. That lot is about 300 feet south of the playground equipment. The man who called in the shooting said he was with his children at the playground and concerned for their safety.
“They were in the general vicinity, but it wasn’t toward them,” Hutt said of the gun’s danger to children.
Homer Police charged Arambul with third-degree assault with a deadly weapon, third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, methamphetamines, both felonies, and fourth-degree weapons misconduct, firing recklessly.
Police also charged Carpenter with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, both felonies, and violating conditions of release.
At about 10:10 p.m. May 19, police received a 911 call from a citizen saying there had been a shooting at the park involving two cars, a white Jeep and a green Ford pickup truck. Both vehicles left the area. Police responded and stopped the Jeep, driven by Carpenter, at Main Street and the Sterling Highway. About the same time police saw the green Ford drive by and stopped the truck with Arambul driving it.
In charging documents, Homer Police Officer Jim Knott said Arambul called the incident “a bad dope deal.” Knott wrote that Arambul said he met Carpenter at Karen Hornaday Park to sell him meth and sat in the back seat of his Jeep. Knott alleged Carpenter opened the back trunk of the Jeep, came from behind, grabbed a necklace and tried to strangle Arambul.
Armabul pulled away and went to his truck and got a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. Carpenter then got into his Jeep and drove up to Armabul’s truck. Arambul told police he realized he didn’t have his keys in his pocket. Police said Arambul told them he didn’t want to shoot Carpenter, “he just didn’t want to be f***ed with,” and so shot the driver’s side door. Carpenter then gave him his keys back.
Police said Carpenter initially denied any assault, but when told about what witnesses had said, changed his statement. Carpenter kept telling police he’s a junkie, Knott wrote. When his mother came to get the Jeep, Knott said Carpenter told her he was being arrested for something he’d already been charged with.
Carpenter referred to a June 2015 incident in which Alaska State Troopers alleged Carpenter had robbed a man at a Ninilchik beach by strangling the man with a seatbelt.
Carpenter and Arambul are both being held at Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.