Suspect in custody after sixth shooting reported to officials in New Mexico offices


A suspect was caught Monday in a series of shootings that may have targeted Democratic leaders in Albuquerque, officials said Monday.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, is being held on charges unrelated to the six shootings at or near the homes and offices of Democratic officials, Police Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference.

Officials did not say what charges the person was being held on or whether charges will be filed in connection with the shootings since early last month.

Medina said police seized a weapon from at least one of the shootings. No one was injured in the shootings.

The incoming New Mexico state House speaker is the sixth Democratic official to be targeted by gunfire since early December, police said earlier Monday.

“We are concerned and concerned that these are related and may be politically motivated,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.

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“These are individuals who participate in democracy, whether we agree with them or not,” Keller said. “Those elected officials deserve to be able to do their jobs as part of American democracy without fear, and especially without fear at home.”

The first shooting occurred on Dec. 4, when eight bullets were fired toward Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa’s home in southeastern Albuquerque, police said.

On Monday, the Albuquerque Police Department reported that the home of incoming state House speaker Rep. Javier Martinez, apparently was also targeted.

The incident occurred in early December, when Martinez heard gunfire but did not report it, police said. Last week, after the other shootings were widely reported, Martinez asked officers to investigate the incident, police said.

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“We are thankful no one was hurt,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at Monday’s press conference. “But we also realize that we have to work quickly.”

Albuquerque detectives, with the help of the FBI, the New Mexico State Police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, were still analyzing evidence and searching the areas of the shootings for security videos, the chief said.

In the police statement released earlier Monday, Medina said: “We have identified possible links between some of the shootings and detectives are pursuing every possible lead.”

The New Mexico Democratic Party said in a statement it was “deeply troubled” by the shootings.

“We encourage anyone with potentially relevant information to report it to the police and hope that those responsible are caught soon,” the party said.

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Martinez said in a statement that he is thankful his family is safe.

“I share the anger of my fellow elected officials and all those who are the targets of such senseless acts of violence,” he said. “We hope those responsible are caught and brought to justice soon.”

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, the other shootings occurred on December 10 at the former campaign office of Raúl Torrez, who was elected New Mexico Attorney General; December 11, when more than a dozen gunfire hit the home of former County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley; January 3 when eight shots were fired toward the home of New Mexico Senator Linda Lopez; and January 5 when shots were fired outside the downtown law offices of newly appointed Senator Moe Maestas.

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