New Mexico Shooting has shocked the community and has led to calls for significant withdrawal from the Republican candidate.
According to Albuquerque Police, a former Republican candidate for the New Mexico House was detained Monday for reportedly arranging a series of gunshots targeting Democratic state leaders’ homes and offices this winter.
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Republican Solomon Pena is suspected of arranging with and paying four individuals to carry out four gunshots at the houses of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two state lawmakers in the Albuquerque region, according to Albuquerque Police.
New Mexico Shooting: Why Was GOP Candidate Solomon Pena Arrested?
SWAT officers detained Solomon Pena at his House on Monday evening, according to Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina.
Pena, according to Medina, is the “mastermind” of what seems to be a politically motivated criminal conspiracy that resulted in four gunshots at or near the residences of two county commissioners and two state lawmakers between early December and early January.
GOP Candidate Candidate Solomon Pena Arrested (source: USAToday)
In November, Pena was defeated by incumbent state Rep. Miguel P. Garcia, a long-serving Democrat representing House District 14 in the South Valley.
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According to authorities, he may have been motivated by resentment for his November setback. At a press conference early Monday evening, Police spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos stated Pena claimed his defeat was the consequence of electoral fraud.
Police claimed Pena, an election denier, sought county and state officials after his loss, saying the election was rigged against him even though there was no evidence of widespread voting fraud in New Mexico in 2020 or 2022. The shootings started soon after those chats.
“This type of radicalism is a threat to our country, and it has arrived here in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “But I know we’re going to fight back, and we’re not going to let this happen.”
The event stunned the community, prompting demands for Pena to drop out of the Campaign. The incident also raises significant concerns about the safety of political events and the possibility of political violence.
GOP Candidate Solomon Pena’s Charges Explored
Incumbent Democrat Miguel P. Garcia defeated Pena in the state House by a margin of 5,679 to 2,033, or 74% to 26%.
Hartsock said further arrests and charges were likely in the case, but he declined to comment due to the continuing investigation. He stated that some people, including Pena, were detained on Monday night.
GOP Candidate Solomon crime scene (source: news)
According to Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock, at least five persons, including Pena, were engaged in the gunshots.
According to Hartsock, Pena is suspected of bribing others to carry out at least two of the shootings before “Pena himself” reportedly “fired the gun” during one of the crimes.
Police said they used telephone data, witness interviews, and gunshots from the politicians’ residences to identify Pena as their “primary” suspect.
His arrest comes one week after the MedinaPolicepolice chief stated that a suspect in the shootings had been identified.
The gunshots left no one hurt and occurred amid an increase in threats against members of Congress, school board members, election officials, and other government personnel around the country.
In Albuquerque, law enforcement struggled to address back-to-back years of record homicides and persistent gun violence.
A criminal complaint containing Pena’s specific accusations was likely to be issued in the following days.