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Former GOP candidate Solomon Peña arrested in New Mexico home shooting of Democratic elected officials

Former GOP candidate Solomon Peña arrested in New Mexico home shooting of Democratic elected officials

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Albuquerque police have arrested a former Republican House candidate in connection with recent shootings in the homes of members of the Democratic Party.

At a news conference Monday night, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced that 39-year-old Solomon Peña was taken into custody by police following a SWAT standoff in Southwest Albuquerque Monday afternoon.

“He’s believed to be the mastermind behind this and he orchestrated this,” Medina told reporters in front of a projected photo of Pena wearing a red hoodie that said “Make America Great Again” in front of two Trump flags.

“We’re very thankful that we were able to arrest this man and hopefully bring some relief to those affected and to all of our legislators, especially with the state legislature starting tomorrow,” Medina said.

Peña is accused of conspiring and paying four other men to shoot up the homes of 2 county commissioners and 2 state legislators, police said.

Investigators say five people were involved in the plot and that Pena was directly involved in the final shooting. Evidence against Pena included firearms, cell phone and electronic records, surveillance footage and numerous witnesses, investigators said.

The shooting is still under investigation.

Pena’s arrest comes after an unidentified suspect believed to be connected to at least one of the shootings was taken into custody last week.

The shootings began in early December when eight rounds were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adrian Barboa, police said. Days later, the home of Republican Rep. Javier Martinez was attacked, and a week after the initial shooting, someone shot at the home of former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, police said.

Multiple shots were also fired at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez — a lead sponsor of a 2021 bill that would repeal New Mexico’s ban on most abortion procedures — and in a downtown area where state Sen. Moe Maestas’ office is located. Maestas, an attorney, co-sponsored a bill last year to establish new criminal penalties for threats against state and local judges. It didn’t go through.

No one was injured in any of the shootings, authorities said.

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