Solomon Peña, New Mexico GOP candidate, visited properties of Democratic politicians to dispute election previous to shootings, officers say

A failed New Mexico state Home candidate visited the properties of native Democratic leaders to vehemently dispute his election loss weeks earlier than he allegedly orchestrated a collection of shootings on the residences, elected officers stated.

Republican Solomon Peña is accused of conspiring with and paying 4 males to hold out 4 shootings at Albuquerque-area properties of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two state legislators, Albuquerque police stated.

Police introduced his arrest Monday night. Nobody was damage within the shootings.

“Peña got here to my home proper after the (November) election. He was type of erratic within the factors he was attempting to make concerning the election, and about what number of doorways he knocked on and the way the variety of votes didn’t match,” ​​Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa stated in a telephone interview with NBC Information.

Barboa stated she known as police after the incident.

“He was at my door and he was aggressive. He was an election denier,” stated Barboa, who had eight pictures fired at her dwelling on Dec. 4, the primary within the collection of shootings that focused native and state Democrats.

Former County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley shared the same expertise with Peña across the identical time after he first visited her former dwelling earlier than monitoring her down at her present handle.

“This man got here to my dwelling. I used to be very involved about it and it was very unsettling. He was indignant about dropping the election,” she stated. “He felt the election was unfair and unfaithful.”

Whereas he didn’t threaten her through the November encounter, she did name authorities and deputies patrolled her home for just a few days.

However weeks later, her dwelling was struck with 12 bullets on Dec. 11 whereas she and her husband slept, police have stated.

He “might have killed us,” O’Malley beforehand informed NBC Information.

Police stated Peña may need been motivated by anger over his November loss. Police spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos stated at a information convention early Monday night that Peña alleged his defeat was the results of election fraud.

Peña misplaced his state Home problem to incumbent Democrat Miguel P. Garcia by 5,679 to 2,033, or 74% to 26%.

He took his case to a few county commissioners and a state senator — some whose properties have been focused within the shootings — to no avail, Gallegos stated.

“He had complaints about his election he felt being rigged,” Gallegos stated. “Because the mayor stated, he was an election denier — he doesn’t wish to settle for the outcomes of his election.”

One of many conferences with native and state leaders grew to become heated, he stated.

“One truly led to fairly an argument, I consider,” Gallegos stated. “It was shortly after that the shootings occurred.”

Two different shootings beforehand believed to have been linked to the case — on Dec. 10 on the former marketing campaign workplace of Raúl Torrez, who was elected New Mexico’s lawyer basic, and Jan. 5 exterior the downtown regulation workplaces of newly appointed state Sen. Moe Maestas — haven’t been linked to the suspect, police stated Monday.

Dennis Romero, Phil Helsel and Mirna Alsharif contributed.

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