January 13, 2023

Legislative session security in the wake of shootings


The upcoming legislative session begins on Jan. 17, less than two weeks after news reports revealed a series of shootings involving Democratic leaders residing in Albuquerque.

With the session beginning in less than a week, the New Mexico Political Report reached out to New Mexico State Police about security at the Roundhouse for the session.

“New Mexico State Police has an operational plan in place for the 2023 legislative session, as we do for every session,” State Police spokesman Ray Wilson said via email. “We have assigned appropriate resources to ensure the safety of the public, senators, and representatives.”

The public are encouraged to voice their comments, questions and concerns in a peaceful manner; however, NMSP is prepared for any chaos that may erupt.

“As always, we are prepared to respond to events of civil unrest,” Wilson said. “We are collaborating with our local law enforcement partners in order to implement a systematic coordinated response should gatherings become other than peaceful. We respect the freedoms granted by the First Amendment and our presence is meant to allow law-abiding citizens to assemble and express their opinions.”

Six shootings and a person of interest in custody

Between Dec. 4 and Jan. 5, there were six shootings at the homes or offices of prominent Albuquerque Democrats.

These shootings happened at the homes of a state representative, a state senator and two Bernalillo County commissioners and at the offices of a state senator and the Attorney General-Elect’s campaign headquarters.

State Rep. Javier Martinez came forward after hearing about the other five shootings and inspected his home where he found that someone had shot at his home.

Martinez is likely to be chosen as Speaker of the House when the Legislature meets next week. 

More: Suspect in custody in shootings of Democrats’ properties

The only commonality between the six victims is they are all Democrats.

The other five victims were Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, then-Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, state Sen. Linda Lopez, State Sen. Antonio “Moe” Maestas and current New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez.

The homes of Barboa, O’Malley, Lopez and Martinez were shot at while Maestas’ office and Torrez’s campaign office were also targeted.

More: Police investigating after shots fired at Democratic politicians’ houses

No injuries were reported in any of the shootings.

On Tuesday, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced during a press conference that a male person of interest was in custody as was a firearm used in at least one of the shootings.

No further information was released due to the investigation’s ongoing status.

Anyone with information about any of the shootings is asked to call APD at 505-242-COPS or Crime Stoppers at 505-843-STOP.