ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police say a man is in custody and thought to be linked to at least one shooting at the homes and offices of Albuquerque-area elected leaders in December and January. APD made the announcement at a sudden and brief news conference Monday afternoon.
The man who has been placed in custody has not been formally charged in any of the cases, however, APD says he is being held on unrelated charges. While APD refused to identify the suspect by name Monday, Chief Harold Medina said the department has recovered a firearm that is linked to one of the shootings.
“We are trying to still link and see which cases are related and which are not related,” Chief Medina said Monday afternoon. “So until we get more details and we finish the process of seeing where the evidence leads up and getting returns on our warrants, this will be the extent of our information.”
The unidentified man is said to be under the age of 50-years old. APD didn’t say if the man is in the custody of federal officials or its own department.
The news comes just hours after APD reported that investigators are looking into a sixth shooting at an elected leader’s home, incoming New Mexico House Speaker, Representative Javier Martínez (D). Although it’s not clear if the shootings are all connected, police say they’ve found “potential connections between some of the shootings.”
APD says the Martinez home shooting took place in December of 2022. No one was injured at Martinez’s home, or at any of the locations of the five other shootings.
APD first announced the investigation last week, detailing shootings at the homes of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, former commissioner Debbie O’Malley, and New Mexico state Senator Linda Lopez. Since the initial announcement, APD says one additional shooting took place at the downtown office of newly appointed state Senator Moe Maestas. Another was discovered to have taken place at the former campaign office of newly elected New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez.
At Monday’s news conference, Medina said APD would pursue federal charges against the suspect, if possible.
“If there is a federal crime or federal time that we can use, we without a doubt are going to use that federal tie,” Medina said. “I’ve said it over and over again, anytime that we have the ability to access the federal system, the federal system has much stronger teeth than our state system and we will access the federal system when possible.”
When asked about a motive, Medina said his detectives have some ideas but said it was “way too early” to discuss those ideas. APD Chief Medina previously pointed out that all the shootings were towards buildings connected to Democratic officials.
State Senator Moe Maestas is glad to see someone in custody and says authorities are leaving no stone unturned.”They can’t let their guard down and neither can we, but we’re just very grateful to APD and the state police for putting the pieces together and having a suspect in custody.”
APD is asking anyone with information about the shootings to come forward. If you have info, you can call 505-242-COPS (505-242-2677) or Crime Stoppers at 505-843-STOP (505-843-7867).