Solomon Pena arrested in shootings targeting Democratic politicians’ homes
Five people were involved in the plot, but it’s unclear if the first gunman knew the targets were elected Democrats, police said. The investigation is ongoing, Hartsock said. Albuquerque SWAT officers took Pena into custody Monday afternoon.
Police are investigating 5 shootings at New Mexico Democrat homes and offices
In early January, Albuquerque police and federal agents began an investigation into whether the shootings that hit Democrat homes and offices that winter were connected or politically motivated.
“APD essentially found what we all feared and suspected, that these shootings were in fact politically motivated,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (D) said Monday afternoon. “This person was a candidate for office against a member of the Democratic House of Representatives as recently as November.”
Multiple shots hit the walls and doors of buildings in each shooting, although no injuries were reported. Some elected officials wrote on social media about living in fear.
APD has arrested Solomon Peña over the recent shootings at the homes of local lawmakers. Peña, an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate in the 2022 election, is accused of conspiring with four other men and paying them to shoot at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators.
— APD Police Chief (@ABQPoliceChief) January 16, 2023
During a news conference Monday, law enforcement officials alleged that Pena was involved in four separate shootings that began in early December.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, State Senators Linda Lopez (D) and Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D) and former commissioner Debbie O’Malley were all affected by the four separate shootings. Police did not claim Monday that Pena was involved in a fifth shooting allegedly aimed at the empty campaign office of New Mexico Attorney General-elect Raúl Torrez.
The first shooting occurred on Dec. 4 when eight shots were fired at Barboa’s home in southeast Albuquerque, police said.
“In early December, I was returning to my house from Christmas shopping, which was shot up. It was frightening. My house had four shots through the front door and windows where just hours before my grandchild and I were playing in the living room,” Barboa wrote in a Facebook post.
This story is evolving and updated.