Suspect in custody after sixth reported shooting at homes and offices of New Mexico officials


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

The suspect, whose name was not released, was 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 gun from at least one of the shootings. No one has been injured in the shootings.

The incoming speaker of the New Mexico state house is the sixth Democratic official to be the apparent target of shooting since early December, police said Monday.

“We are concerned and concerned that these are connected and possibly politically motivated,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said.

“These are people who are participating 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 in their homes.»

The first shooting occurred Dec. 4, when eight rounds were fired in the direction of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa’s home in southeast Albuquerque, police said.

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

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

“We are grateful that no one was injured,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at Monday’s news conference. «But we also realize that we have to work fast.»

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

In the police statement early Monday, Medina said: «We have identified possible connections between some of the shootings, and detectives are pursuing all possible leads.»

The New Mexico Democratic Party said in a statement that it is «deeply concerned» by the shootings.

«We encourage anyone with potentially relevant information to report it to law enforcement and hope that whoever is responsible is quickly caught,» the party said.

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 have been the target of such senseless acts of violence,» he said. «We are hopeful that those responsible will be quickly caught and brought to justice.»

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

erick mendoza contributed.

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