Attempted Murder Charge Dropped; Detectives Say Man Shot Neighbor in Self-Defense

POSTED: 2:28 AM Apr 18 2013   UPDATED: 1:13 PM Apr 17 2013
REDDING, Calif. -

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office has dropped an attempted murder charge against a Redding man, one day after he turned himself in for questioning. 

Investigators say after listening to Raymond Azevedo, 62, they determined he acted in self defense when he shot his neighbor James Hayes during a dispute Saturday.

The dispute started with an argument over a woman taking a shower.

In the initial investigation witnesses told detectives Azevedo shot Hayes several times while Hayes was standing in the front driveway of Azevedo's residence on Frazier Road, off Abernathy Lane on Redding's east side.   After the shooting Azevedo fled the scene and eluded law enforcement until he turned himself early Tuesday morning.

In the days following this shooting and after interviews, detectives learned that Hayes and his girlfriend; Christine Condo had entered Azevedo's residence. Once inside Condo asked Azevedo if she could take a shower as she was just released from the Shasta County Jail for larceny and violating her probation.

Azevedo told Condo that he did not want her to take a shower and told both Hayes and Condo to leave his residence. Both refused to leave with Condo walking past Azevedo heading towards the shower.

Once she was in the shower, both Azevedo and Hayes began to argue.  Hayes armed himself with a curtain rod. Hayes struck Azevedo with the curtain rod multiple times over the head.

During this assault Azevedo retrieved a handgun from his room for protection and fired a warning shot. Hayes again raised the curtain rod up in the air to strike Azevedo.  Azevedo fired his handgun twice striking Hayes two times. Hayes was transported to the hospital for medical treatment and is recovering from his wounds.

Azevedo fled his residence after the shooting but later turned himself into law enforcement. During his interview with detectives, he related that he fled because he was scared, knew he had an extensive criminal background, and knew he was not supposed to have a firearm as he is a convicted felon.

Azevedo advised that he shot Hayes in self-defense. With this information detectives went back to Hayes and re-interviewed him. Hayes admitted to arming himself with the curtain rod but denied hitting Azevedo with it. However; Hayes told detectives that he could understand why Azevedo took his actions as a threat.

With the new information from both parties, witnesses and evidence located at the scene, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit dropped the attempt murder charge on Azevedo and re-charged him for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

This case will be reviewed by the District Attorney's Office pending further charges against all parties involved.

Both Raymond Azevedo and James Hayes have numerous contacts with law enforcement and convictions for numerous crimes.