Riverhead man arrested in connection with two downtown shootings

11/11/2011 7:57 AM |

Juan Soyos Pixtun, pictured above in red, was arrested in connection with two Riverhead shootings Thursday night.

Update: Mr. Soyos Pixtun has been arraigned in town justice court

An 18-year-old Riverhead man is facing attempted murder and assault charges after shooting two Riverhead men, one in Polish Town Thursday night and another on West Main Street last Friday, Riverhead Police said.

Police arrived on the scene at Pulaski Street and Marcy Avenue about 10:30 p.m. Thursday for reports of a shooting, officials said. There, officers found 20-year-old Edgar Bautista of Riverhead lying on the ground, writhing in pain after being shot in his upper leg, police said.

A witness then identified the shooter as 18-year-old Juan F. Soyos Pixtun, who was arrested soon after and taken to police headquarters.

Mr. Soyos Pixtun was also charged for shooting a Riverhead man in the arm in downtown Riverhead Friday night, police said. That shooting happened about 9:50 p.m. outside a small West Main Street shopping center that houses a laundromat, barber shop and Latino delicatessen.

Police later said an argument led to the downtown shooting of Oscar Alvarado, 36, of Riverhead, who was treated at Peconic Bay Medical Center. Mr. Soyos Pixtun had fled that scene on foot.

Investigators said he was packing a 9-mm handgun at the time of his arrest Thursday night, and during questioning it was determined he was also involved in last week’s shooting.

“There was obviously some beef between [these] guys,” said Riverhead Police Lieutenant Robert Peeker, adding that detectives are looking to link the gun to both crime scenes through a ballistics test.

Mr. Soyos Pixtun is facing a second-degree attempted murder charge in the shooting of Mr. Bautista and a second-degree assault charge in the shooting of Mr. Alvarado, though it was not immediately clear why one of the two apparently similar incidents resulted in different charges.

He was scheduled to appear in Riverhead Town Justice Court Friday morning.

The announcement of the arrest came about same time Suffolk County Police issued an alert asking for the public’s help in identifying the West Main Street shooter.

Mr. Soyos Pixtun’s image was captured by surveillance cameras last Friday night.

“We didn’t know who he was,” Lt. Peeker said. “But we knew what he looked like.”

vchinese@timesreview.com