Houston: Five local Democratic elected officials’ homes or offices have been shot in a string of gunfire over the past month in Albuquerque, the largest city of southwestern US’ New Mexico state. An investigation is underway.
“We’re worried and concerned that these are connected and possibly politically motivated or personally motivated … but we don’t know that for a fact,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said at a press conference via the Albuquerque Police Department’s Facebook livestream, Xinhua news agency reported.
During the shootings, multiple rounds have been fired into the doors and walls of these officials’ homes or offices, in some cases while the officials were inside with their families. No one has been hurt.
The FBI, together with the state and local police, are trying to determine if the attacks are connected.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department, the first shooting occurred on December 4, 2022, at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. Someone shot eight rounds at his house.
On December 10, ShotSpotter technology detected several gunshots in the area of New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez’s former campaign office, where the attorney general had already moved out following his November election.
One day later, the home of then Bernalillo Commissioner Debbie O’Malley came under fire. More than a dozen gunshot impacts were identified on walls and the house.
Earlier this week, state Senator Linda Lopez’s home was hit by at least eight shots after midnight.
On Thursday morning, police responded a report of gun shots heard in the area of a downtown law office where state Senator Moe Maestas works. The police department’s ShotSpotter system registered three shots fired at the same location though officers did not find any damage to the building.
“We’re grateful that nobody has been injured, but we also realise that we have to move quickly,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at the news conference Thursday afternoon.
The attacks have been difficult to process, “especially knowing that other women of color elected officials have also been targeted,” Barboa told NPR on Friday.