A suspect was in custody Monday in a series of shootings that may have targeted Democratic leaders in Albuquerque, officials said Monday.
The suspect, whose name was not released, was being held on charges unrelated to the six shootings at or near homes and offices of Democratic officials, Police Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference.
Officials did not say what charges the person was being held on or whether charges are being filed in connection with the shootings since early last month.
Medina said police confiscated a gun in at least one of the shootings. Nobody was injured in the shooting.
The new speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives is the sixth Democratic official to have been the apparent target of gunfire since early December, police said Monday.
“We are concerned and concerned that these are interconnected and possibly politically motivated,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.
“These are individuals participating in democracy, whether we agree with them or not,” Keller said. “These elected officials deserve to be able to do their jobs as part of American democracy without fear, and especially without fear in their homes.”
The first shooting occurred Dec. 4 when eight rounds were fired toward the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa in southeast Albuquerque, police said.
On Monday, the Albuquerque Police Department reported that the home of new House Speaker Rep. Javier Martinez also appeared to have been attacked.
The incident happened in early December when Martinez heard gunshots but did not report it, police said. Last week, after the other shootings were widely reported, Martinez asked officers to investigate the incident, police said.
“We are grateful no one was hurt,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at Monday’s news conference. “But we also know that we have to work fast.”
Albuquerque detectives, with support from the FBI, the New Mexico State Police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, were still analyzing evidence and searching the shootings for security video, the chief said.
In the police statement on Monday, Medina said: “We have identified possible links between some of the shootings and detectives are following every possible lead.”
The New Mexico Democratic Party said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” by the shootings.
“We encourage anyone with potentially relevant information to report this to law enforcement and hope those responsible are caught quickly,” the party said.
Martinez said in a statement he was grateful his family was safe.
“I share the anger of my counterparts and all those who have been the target of such senseless acts of violence,” he said. “We hope that those responsible will be caught and brought to justice quickly.”
According to Albuquerque police, the other shootings occurred on December 10 at the former campaign office of Raúl Torrez, who was elected Attorney General for New Mexico; December 11, when more than a dozen shots hit the home of former County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley; January 3, when eight shots were fired toward the home of Senator Linda Lopez of New Mexico; and on January 5, when shots were fired outside the law offices of newly appointed State Senator Moe Maestas.
Eric Mendoza contributed.