Losing candidate arrested in string of shootings at New Mexico Democrats’ homes


Albuquerque police announced the arrest of Solomon Pena on Monday. He expressed anger over his November defeat. And alleged fraud played a role in the election, police said.

Losing candidate arrested in string of shootings at New Mexico Democrats' homes

An unsuccessful New Mexico state House candidate described by police. As an “election denier” was arrested Monday in a series of shootings. At the homes of regional Democratic leaders.

Rep. Solomon Pena is accused of conspiring and paying for four shootings. At the homes of two Albuquerque-area Bernalillo County commissioners. And two state legislators, Albuquerque police said.

Pena may have been motivated by anger over his November loss, police said. Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said at a news conference Monday evening. That Peña alleged that his defeat was the result of election fraud.

Pena in his state House race against incumbent Democrat Miguel P. Losing to Garcia 5,679-2,033 or 74% to 26%.

“There were complaints about his election that he felt were rigged,” Gallegos said. “As the mayor said, he was an election denier — he didn’t want to accept the results of his election.”

One of those meetings with local and state leaders became heated, he said.

“One actually leads to quite an argument, I believe,” Gallegos said. “Shortly after that, the shooting happened.”

Pena was a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Who claimed voter fraud in his 2020 election, a claim unfounded. The suspect was photographed wearing a red “Make America Great Again” sweatshirt. With the former president’s embroidered. Gold-colored signature during his campaign last year.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller described the attack as the product of political extremism.

“This radicalization is a threat to our city, our state and our nation,” he tweeted Monday. “We will continue to fight against all forms of hate and stop political violence.”

On January 9, police announced the arrest of another suspect in the case. And said they had seized a firearm possibly used in a shooting. On Monday, police said four more people were involved. With more charges and arrests coming. The suspect’s condition as of Jan. 9 is unclear. But on Monday, Police Chief Harold Medina described. Pena as the instigator of the shootings.

A SWAT team arrested Pena in the Albuquerque area on Monday, Medina said. Ballistic evidence from one of the shots linked the case to him, Medina said.

One incident not involving the arrests was a Jan. 5 shooting outside. The downtown law office of newly appointed state Sen. Moye Maestas, police said.

It is unclear whether Pena has retained a lawyer for the case. An inquiry sent through his campaign site had no response. A company associated with Pena did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Albuquerque Journal described Pena. As an unsuccessful candidate for New Mexico House District 14. Which represents the South Valley of the Albuquerque area.

The newspaper reported during its campaign last year that Pena had a criminal record. He served nearly seven years in prison for the theft, it said.

The shootings included one incident Dec. Into the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner. Adrian Barboa in southeast Albuquerque, police said.

Also in early December, the home of incoming State House Speaker. Police, but, did not elaborate on the incident involving those involved in the arrest.

At the former campaign office of Raul Torrez. New Mexico’s newly elected attorney general; a Dec. 11 incident. That included more than a dozen gunshots. That struck the home of former County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. And reports of eight shots fired at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez on Jan. 3.

A campaign email described Pena as a California native. Who completed high school in New Mexico. Became a Navy hospital corpsman stationed in Okinawa. Japan, owned a business and earned a political science degree. From the University of New Mexico in 2021.

On his campaign website, Pena promised a secure future for the state. “I will fight to provide opportunities for the next generation, the local economy is crazy

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