Three people were killed and at least five others were injured — one of whom has been charged with murder — in a shooting Saturday at a popular motorcycle rally at a New Mexico resort town, officials said.
The shooting broke out around 5 p.m. on Main Street in the town of Red River among members of outlaw motorcycle gangs, New Mexico State Police said Sunday. The Justice Department defines the gangs as "organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises," including weapons and drug trafficking.
Officers found two people dead at the scene, and six injured people were taken to hospitals, one of whom was airlifted to a Denver hospital, state police said. One of the injured who was taken to a local hospital was later pronounced dead, said police, who said all eight victims were members of the motorcycle gangs.
State police on Sunday identified the dead as Anthony Silva, 26, of Los Lunas; Randy Sanchez, 46, of Albuquerque; and Damian Breaux, 46, of Socorro.
One of the injured, Jacob David Castillo, 30, of Rio Rancho, was charged with an open count of murder, state police said. He was hospitalized and will be booked into the Taos County Detention Center upon his release, police said.
Another injured person, Christopher Garcia, 41, of Texas, was charged with cocaine possession and booked into the detention center after his release from the hospital.
Mathew Charles Jackson, 39, of Austin, Texas, was also booked into the detention center after he was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm in a liquor establishment. It is unclear whether he was counted among the injured.
Police said "the remaining four individuals" who were injured have not been charged. That would bring the total injured to at least six; police said earlier that there were only five surviving injured victims. A state police spokesperson could not be reached by phone or through multiple emails to explain the discrepancy.
The extent of the injures was not immediately available.
There are more than 300 active outlaw motorcycle gangs across the country, according to the Justice Department, which says five of the gangs — the Hells Angels, the Mongols, the Bandidos, the Outlaws and the Sons of Silence — "pose a serious national domestic threat" and conduct most of the criminal activity, including international drug smuggling. It was not immediately clear which gangs were alleged to be involved in Saturday's shooting.
Police said earlier that the scene was secure and that there was "no ongoing threat to public safety."
The Phoenix field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the federal agency is assisting state police in the investigation.
Red River, a resort town of 675 northeast of Taos in a range at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains, was expecting nearly 30,000 people over the weekend as part of the 41st annual Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally.
Events connected to the rally include music performances, according to a website for the event.
Mayor Linda Calhoun said on the town’s Facebook page that the crime scene included most of Main Street. State and local law enforcement agencies recommended that only essential businesses outside the investigation area stay open and requested that others remain closed Sunday, she said.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina tweeted that he is originally from Red River, which is about 170 miles northeast of Albuquerque, and that he was having dinner with his wife in the town at the time of the shooting.
"Prayers for all impacted by todays shooting in my hometown," Medina tweeted.
"What a helpless feeling not having a badge, gun or radio as State Police officers and others enter the restaurant and slowly everything closes down and you don’t even know if you can get to your car or if it’s in the scene," he added.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she was in contact with Calhoun and law enforcement. “My thoughts are with the Red River community following this violent incident,” she tweeted.
In a joint statement, U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján and Reps. Teresa Leger Fernández, Melanie Stansbury and Gabe Vasquez said they are "heartsick," saying the shooting "desecrated a decades-old, cherished community gathering."
They called for greater action to prevent gun violence, noting that the shooting came less than two weeks after an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot three elderly women and wounded two police officers in Farmington, a city 230 miles west of Red River.
"We cannot let these events become normal," they said. "We must do more to prevent gun violence.”