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APD arrests failed republican candidate in shootings at local politicians' homes

Gino Gutierrez
(From right to left) Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, District Attorney Sam Bregman and US Attorney Alex Uballez at a press conference held Monday evening

A Failed Republican legislative candidate has been arrested by the Albuquerque Police Department and stands accused of conspiring with and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of four local democratic politicians.

39-year-old Solomon Peña was described by police as the “mastermind” behind the string of shootings that took place between December and January.

Solomon Peña's Twitter Account
Solomon Peña repeating denied the results of his election, posting on his twitter account that he would never concede his race

Peña was the Republican candidate in the general election this past November for New Mexico House District 14.

He would go on to lose the election to Democrat Miguel Garcia by more than 3,600 votes. But publicly, Peña denied the results of the election on his Twitter account.

Detectives learned that Peña paid these men in cash and sent them the addresses of the homers he wanted them to shoot through text messages.

As it currently stands, Peña is accused of the shootings that occurred at the homes of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, House Speaker nominee Javier Martinez, former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley and State Senator Linda Lopez.

Law enforcement officials learned that prior to these shootings, Peña made unannounced visits to the homes of Commissioners O’Malley, Barboa and Senator Lopez days after the election ended.

According to reporting by the Albuquerque Journal, Peña handed both O’Malley and Barboa a packet of documents that included internet printouts on voter and mail fraud.

It was also shared that Peña went along with these men during one of the shootings and attempted to fire at the home, but his gun malfunctioned.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller condemned what these attacks meant not only for the victims, but to democracy itself.

“This situation today, I think obviously points out these shootings were orchestrated, there were dangerous attacks not only to these individuals, which is personally most terrifying for them, but fundamentally also to democracy. That is why this is so terrible.”

Keller continued by saying he’s confident the city will reject this type of radicalized politics and that the police department restored order.

Peña has been booked into the Metro Detention Center as of Monday night and APD says detectives are still continuing to investigate all five men who are implicated in this conspiracy.

Charges are expected to be filed.

Gino Gutierrez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, Gino found interest in broadcasting after falling in love with sports and sports broadcasting. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he majored in mass media journalism. While at UNM, he worked the New Mexico Daily Lobo, serving as both sports and managing editor. He can also be heard providing play-by-play commentary for the NA3HL New Mexico Ice Wolves.