OAN Shannon Kelland
UPDATED 6:38 PM PT – Wednesday, January 18, 2023
New Mexico authorities say that they have arrested the suspected “mastermind” behind some of the recent shootings at Democrat officials’ homes.
The attacks are only a few of a growing number of threats and attacks against political figures and elected officials.
Authorities have been investigating the shootings since last month. While no one was injured in the attacks, three homes were damaged in the aftermath.
Solomon Peña, a Republican candidate who lost his 2022 run for state House District 14, was arrested Monday in connection with some of the shootings.
Police have reported that Peña was not involved or connected with at least two of the shootings reported by the New York Times.
Chief Harold Medina of the Albuquerque Police Department wrote a tweet what Peña is being accused of.
The warrant stated that Peña will face preliminary charges of possession of a firearm, attempted aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, criminal solicitation, four counts each of shooting at an occupied dwelling, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, and conspiracy.
The arrest warrant alleged that the suspected mastermind allegedly paid cash to four men to conduct at least two drive-by shootings and that he “personally participated in at least one shooting.” It also accused him of intending “serious injury or cause death” to the targets of the attacks.
Two alleged co-conspirators identified in Peña’s arrest warrant affidavit as Demetrio Trujillo and José Trujillo. Police are currently investigating whether Peña met one of the alleged conspirators in the prison he was held when he served time.
Medina said that Peña often expressed extreme views on social media, including having said that he had attended the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the January 6th.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa’s home was shot at multiple times on December 4th.
Incoming state House Speaker Javier Martinez’s home was shot at on December 8th.
Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley’s home was shot at on December 11th. A Ring doorbell camera recorded footage at O’Malley’s prior residence that showed Peña approaching the door and knocking, while holding documents in his hands. The current person residing in the home spoke to him through the device and told him that O’Malley no longer lived there and directed him to her new home.
The shooting that Peña was first connected to was of State Senator Linda Lopez’s home, which was shot at on January 3rd. Her 10-year-old daughter’s room had been shot at during this attack. The Senator’s daughter woke up thinking that a spider was crawling on her face, instead there was sand littered on her bed. According to the affidavit, sheetrock dust had been blown onto the child’s face from a bullet passing through her bedroom.