ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the wake of the road rage shooting that left an 11-year-old boy dead, New Mexico’s governor has declared gun violence a public emergency in the state. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling for public health and safety officials to “provide an effective and coordinated response” and has ordered emergency funds of $750,000 to be made available for the effort.

The September 6 road rage shooting that killed 11-year-old Froylan Villegas is one of many recent shootings that have resulted in the death of children in New Mexico. In Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Executive Order, she calls attention to the July shooting of a 13-year-old girl in Questa and the August shooting of five-year-old Galilea Samaniego.

In the order, the governor also emphasizes the increase in mass shootings in the state, pointing to the Farmington and Red River shootings that took place in May. The governor says, “These gun-related deaths and injuries have resulted in devastating physical and emotional consequences for individuals, families, and communities throughout the state.” The statewide public health emergency is currently set for an “unknown duration” until further directions are provided.

Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina gave his response to Thursday’s executive order on Friday, September 8:

“I thank the governor for recognizing that the highest levels of state government need to get involved in this. And I also recognize that a lot of these things that need to change are outside the control of the City of Albuquerque, and I hope our state legislature is listening. I hope the governor can put meaningful things on the agenda in the spring and that we can really make a difference in keeping bad people in jail.”

APD Chief Harold Medina

The governor has already asked Attorney General Garland to send additional federal agents to New Mexico, but she says she has not heard back. Chief Medina argues that is not what his department needs:

“Too many times I hear, like over and over again, every time that something occurs, somebody wants to bring more federal resources. I don’t need more federal agents in Albuquerque. You know what I need? I need more federal prosecutors.”

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen was among the law enforcement leaders promoting a message of unity as the tackles gun violence through that emergency order. However, later in the evening, he released a statement that said in part, “The temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution which I sore an oath to uphold.”

The governor acknowledged there could be disagreement and said her order did not reflect the views of the others at the table. “They did not involve themselves in the drafting of this public health order and likely not to agree with the totality of the first initial steps,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. She did say that it is just a first step in what will be a coordinated effort.

The governor introduced the law enforcement veteran she chose to lead the effort to curb violence which is retired New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas. “How do you get a retired State Police chief who’s very happy he retired to come back into the building he swore he’d never set foot in? And that’s a compelling call from the governor,” said Kassetas.

The state will now start checking with gun shops monthly to ensure compliance with gun sales laws in the state. The state’s Health Department will also have 20 days to compile a list of gunshot victims in the state going to hospitals and collect data of their cases.

As for youthful offenders in the state, the order states that the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department must suspend its juvenile detention alternative program and evaluate juvenile probation protocols.

The governor is meeting with law enforcement and criminal justice leadership now to determine their next steps toward solving the gun violence problem.