ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – One day after a shooting at a Juan de Oñate statue in Española, 23-year-old Ryan Martinez has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault for shooting Jacob Johns at the demonstration around noon on Thursday.
“An act of cowardice, an act of absolute cowardice, to arm oneself against a group of unarmed people simply because you don’t agree with their values,” said Jacob John’s friend, Janene Yazzie who was also at Thursday’s protest. A criminal complaint details how witnesses told police that Martinez was trying to provoke negative reactions from the crowd.
Story continues below
- Albuquerque: Albuquerque students turn guns into musical instruments
- Crime: Bernalillo County D.A. to ask to detain teen accused of Coronado Center shooting
- New Mexico: Report: Outdoor recreation brought in more than $2.4B for New Mexico in 2022
- Local: ‘Beautiful soul’: Family remembers Hobbs woman killed in domestic dispute
“He tried to rush the altar, he was prevented by those that were creating a body barrier to protect the woman and children inside and then he stepped back behind the wall and squared up,” Yazzie said. That’s when witnesses said Martinez pulled out a gun and opened fire, hitting Johns in the chest.
“He was very scared, he couldn’t breathe, he kept saying that he couldn’t breathe so we were afraid that because of where the gunshot was that it penetrated his lungs,” Yazzie said. After helping tend to Johns’ wound, Yazzie said he was taken to a local hospital and later transported to UNMH for surgery. “They flew him out to Albuquerque where he underwent emergency surgery last night to stabilize his bleeding,” said Yazzie.
Yazzie said Johns is still unstable in his recovery and will have to undergo a second surgery and added she hopes Martinez will be held accountable. “I hope he gets charged to the fullest extent of the law. We are not going to let this deter us, that statue is not going up,” added Yazzie.
Martinez is set to return to court on Monday for a hearing outlining possible conditions of release. Meanwhile, friends have set up a GoFundMe to help cover Johns’ medical expenses.