City man held on felony reckless conduct charge in Jan. 23 shooting incident at Maple Valley Plaza

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MANCHESTER,  NH – A city man, charged with reckless conduct for shooting at a car in a parking lot across the street from Manchester police headquarters, waived arraignment Tuesday on one felony count of reckless conduct.

Joshua Vazquez, 29, of 184 Garden Drive, Apt. 14, appeared via video Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District.  He reserved his right to a further bail hearing but, for now, is being detained without bail at the Valley Street jail.

Joshua Vasquez/MPD

“The brazen nature of this crime is astounding,” said Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg,” This shooting took place directly across the street from the Manchester Police Department. Not only does Vazquez have total disregard for public safety, his bold actions prove that he is an extremely careless and dangerous individual. I am pleased that he was taken off the streets. Manchester patrol officers and detectives worked quickly to bring this to a successful resolution, and I commend them for their excellent work.”

Police said Vazquez was recorded on surveillance video the night of Jan. 23 standing across from Pizza Express, 245 Valley St. when at 10:42 p.m. shots were fired.   No one was injured but police later recovered eight bullet casings from the parking lot.  A vehicle in the parking lot was struck in its front bumper.  The owner of the vehicle did not see the shooting but saw a man known as “Six” inside the Babylon Hookah Lounge, situated next door to Pizza Express, earlier in the evening.  The owner of the car said she saw him go out to smoke just before the shooting occurred.

“Six” is Vazquez’ alias, according to police.

A witness told investigators he saw a man dressed in black shooting at a car at the east side of the parking lot that night.   He described him as a thin black man wearing a black jacket, dark pants and a black winter hat.  The witness told police he saw the same man walk to the front entrance of the bar and then saw the man and a second man run across the lot and get into a car that drove east onto Valley Street.

According to an affidavit by Det. Shaun M. McKennedy, investigators viewed camera footage from the nightclub.  An officer recognized Vazquez, who fit the description of the man described by the witness, and his companion, Daveon Watley, 28.

The surveillance recorded both Vazquez and Watley entering the nightclub at 9:50 p.m. and walking up to the bar where they are handed masks as they order drinks.  At 10:13 p.m., Vazquez returns to the bar, hands two bills to the bartender and rejoins Watley at a table.  At 10:29 p.m., Vazquez leaves and goes outside.

Ten minutes later, Vazquez re-enters the nightclub, quickly approaches Watley, says something to him and the two leave via the same door they entered.

According to Detective McKennedy, the only other people seen on video entering the bar around the time of the shooting do not come in and quickly leave as was described by the witness.  Vazquez’s clothing, the detective said, also matches the witness’s description of the shooter’s attire.

Additionally, McKennedy said that Vazquez currently has bail conditions that bars him from entering the city of Manchester for any reason except for a scheduled court appearance.  He also was to have no contact/communication with several individuals.  One of them is Watley.

On Sept. 12, 2020, Vazquez was arrested on two counts of simple assault – domestic violence.    On Nov. 5, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count and the second offense was dropped.  He was sentenced to 12 months, with nine months deferred.  At the time, he had been detained 54 days so he was released from jail soon after.

Vazquez was arrested Monday in Nashua.