Ex-GOP candidate shot at Democratic lawmakers’ homes

ALBUQUERQUE: A failed Republican state legislative candidate who authorities say was angry over losing the election last November and made baseless claims that the polls was “rigged” against him was arrested Monday in connection with a series of drive-by shootings targeting the homes of Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico’s largest city.
Albuquerque police chief Harold Medina described Solomon Pena as the “mastermind” of what appears to be a politically-motivated criminal conspiracy leading to four shootings at or near the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators between December and January. Pena lost in November to incumbent state Republican Miguel Garcia, the longtime Democrat representing House District 14 in the South Valley. Garcia won by 48 percentage points, or roughly 3,600 votes.
Police said Pena, an election denier, had approached county and state lawmakers after his loss claiming the contest had been rigged against him despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in New Mexico in 2020 or 2022. The shootings began shortly after those conversations. New Mexico’s state Canvassing Board unanimously certified the results of the November polls.
“This type of radicalism is a threat to our nation and has made its way to our doorstep right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” said mayor Tim Keller. “But I know we are going to push back.” Police said at least five people, including Pena, were involved in the shootings. Pena is accused of paying the others to carry out at least two of the shootings, according to police, before “Pena himself” allegedly “pulled the trigger” during one of crimes.
Police said they identified Pena as their “key” suspect using a combination of cellphone records, witness interviews and bullet casings. No one was injured in the shootings.

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