Charges refiled in protest shooting case; DA seeks injunction against the NM Civil Guard

Protests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County District Attorney has re-filed charges against the man who shot another during a protest in Old Town. The shooter claimed self-defense but Monday the DA said evidence shows that’s not the case.

“It’s our belief that Mr. Baca was the first aggressor in this contact and the individual he shot was acting in response to his violent provocation,” said Raul Torrez, Bernalillo County District Attorney in a Monday’s press conference. 

On Monday, July 13 the deputy district attorney for the Second Judicial District of the State of New Mexico accused Baca of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm with a deadly weapon, firearm enhancement, aggravated battery, battery, and unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon.

In June, a gathering took place to protest the removal of the Juan de Oñate statue located on the corner of Mountain and 19th Street. Video posted to Facebook later showed protesters trying to tear the statue down which sparked confrontations between several groups at the scene.

Baca was originally arrested for shooting a protester, Scott Williamsn, at the scene however, the district attorney later dropped a shooting charge, saying they didn’t have all of the facts at the time and would continue their investigation. Baca was charged with three counts of aggravated battery with great bodily harm for pulling a woman to the ground and injuring other protesters.

Baca’s attorneys argue he was reacting to being attacked by the crowd. The statue of Juan de Oñate has since been removed.

Monday, a picture of Baca upholstering his gun as Williams picked up a skateboard. Williams claims he used the skateboard to try and knock the gun out of Baca’s hand. As for the claims that Williams had knives in his hands the D.A. showed a picture of a pair of glasses falling from William’s hand after he was shot. Then seconds later after he had fallen you can see what the D.A. says is a vape pen that had fallen from William’s other hand. D.A. Torrez says Baca’s actions before the shooting are critical in this case.

“Continued to repeatedly assault members of the public this is an important feature of our legal analysis because what that does is raises the doctorate of first aggressor what means any individual who otherwise claims self-defense can not claim self-defense if he or she initiates a violent confrontation,” Torrez said.

D.A. Torrez also announced Monday that he’s seeking an injunction against the group known as the New Mexico Civil Guard which showed up to the protest that day heavily armed. They say they do so to keep the peace but Torrez says their actions actually escalate the situation. He’s asking a judge to prohibit them from acting as a group by declaring them a public nuisance. He says their right to protest and right to bear arms won’t be affected but it will affect their right to operate and train as a group.

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