District Attorney makes changes to charges in Oñate statue protest shooting

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The District Attorney announced Wednesday it’s dropping the shooting charge against 31-year-old Steven Baca, the man who shot another at a protest in Old Town Monday.

District Attorney Raul Torrez says they simply don’t have all the facts right now in a news conference Wednesday. He also says they’ve called on New Mexico State Police to conduct an investigation.

“I know that there have been rumors, again, on social media about what transpired in final seconds before this we are actively looking into all of those and frankly, whether or not this was justified… I can tell you that we have not made a judgment on that question and won’t make until the investigation is concluded by the New Mexico State Police,” said DA Raul Torrez.

The DA also released a picture Wednesday that showed what was happening seconds before Monday night’s shooting during a protest over the removal of the Juan de Oñate statue. Monday night things got heated between several groups and ended with Baca shooting a man who was seen along with another, hitting him over the head with a skateboard.

There are also claims the man that was shot had knives in his hand. Right now, Torrez says they have not yet determined if that was the case.

In the video provided by the DA, it shows the victim is carrying glasses in his right hand. Torrez says knives were found at the scene, along with other weapons but it’s too early to know where they came from.

Baca is now being charged with three counts of aggravated battery with great bodily harm for pulling a woman to the ground and injuring other protesters. All of this was caught on video.

Baca is also be charged with unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon because he does not have a concealed carry permit and the gun he used was hidden under his shirt.

Torrez says because of this tense situation, the way police had to defuse the crowd and the number of guns at the scene that night, many people who could have been key witnesses were not interviewed. State Police will work on this during their investigation.

Torrez is asking anyone who was there and had information or video to come forward. Baca is still behind bars because of the change in charges. His court hearing Wednesday was also canceled.


Note: The DA has dropped the shooting charge against Steven Baca, saying that they need to continue investigating.

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