Albuquerque Democratic officials’ homes, offices targeted in series of shootings : NPR
Screenshot from NPR
Local and state police are working with the FBI in Albuquerque, NM, to investigate five shootings that have targeted the homes or offices of Democratic politicians since then.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, whose home was the first to come under fire, told NPR on Friday that the attacks were difficult to process, “especially knowing that other women of color elected officials have also been targeted.”
In the attacks, multiple rounds were fired into the doors and walls of the building — in some cases while elected officials were inside with their families — but no one was injured.
“We’re thankful no one was hurt, but we also realize we have to move quickly,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. he said at a news conference about the attacks.
His point was underscored by recent events: Authorities had planned to highlight the shootings on Thursday, after a state senator’s home was shot at on Tuesday — and then came word of more shootings with a political target, as the bullets hit the office of the state’s second senator. Thursday morning.
“We have some leads,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. He acknowledged the obvious connection of all the victims belonging to the same party, but warned people not to speculate about the violence while the evidence is still being gathered.
“We are worried and concerned that these are connected and possibly politically motivated or personally motivated,” said Keller. “But we don’t know that for a fact.”
Time schedule of the shots
Sunday, December 4th — At 4:41 pm someone fired eight shots at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa in southeast Albuquerque. “At the beginning of December, I returned from Christmas shopping to my house with a shot; it was scary,” Barboa told NPR on Friday. “My house had four shots from the front door and the windows, where a few hours before my grandson and I were playing in the living room.”
Saturday, December 10th — The campaign office in downtown Albuquerque for Raúl Torrez, the state’s new attorney general, was shot up in the early morning “after we were already gone,” a campaign representative told NPR, and added that the campaign is working with law enforcement. Police officers collected evidence at the time, and that evidence is now being analyzed for any possible connection to the other shootings in Albuquerque.
Sunday, December 11th — Gunfire has struck the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley in the North Valley area. “More than a dozen gunshot impacts were identified on the walls and the house,” Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos told NPR.
Tuesday, January 3rd — State Sen. Linda Lopez’s home was targeted in southwest Albuquerque. “At least eight shots were fired at her home after midnight,” Gallegos said. Showing journalists from the Albuquerque Journal multiple bullet holes in her garage, Lopez said it was the first time she experienced “a very personal attack on me and my family.”
Thursday, January 5th — Police gunshot detection sensors recorded three shots fired near the downtown law office where state Sen. Antonio “Moe” Maestas works, at 11:41 am Police found no signs of damage. Maestas thanked the police via Twitterhe said his family was safe and sound.
Detectives are sifting through video and other evidence
Attacks on elected officials are a top priority for investigators, Medina said at Thursday’s news conference, adding that police are gathering evidence, including video captured by intersection cameras and reports from ShotSpotter shooting detection installations.
“They will work this non-stop until we can hopefully get this case resolved,” Medina said.
The authorities are asking the public for help, hoping that residents can send information about people or vehicles near the attacks, or threats made on social media to politicians.
Medina said his department is reaching out to elected officials across Bernalillo County to get a sense of potential safety concerns, and to consider whether law enforcement may need to provide additional security to politicians.
While discussing the spate of attacks, police and politicians spoke of the bane of gun violence — both in New Mexico and across the United States.
“Too many people I love, my neighbors and our communities, have been affected by violence like this,” Barboa said. “We must do more to end gun violence in and against our communities.”