A county commissioner who was among six Democratic leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose homes or offices were sprayed with gunfire said she won't let the attacks stop her from doing her job.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa's home was the first to be targeted Dec. 4, when eight shots were fired. The shootings continued intermittently until Thursday, when shots were fired outside the downtown law offices of newly appointed state Sen. Antonio “Moe” Maestas.
No one was injured. Albuquerque police arrested a suspect whom they didn't publicly identify Monday; they haven’t said whether they are looking for anyone else or what the motive might have been.
“I can’t let this intimidate me from public service,” Barboa said Tuesday, adding she believes the shootings were politically motivated. “The homes of Democrats are being targeted directly.”
Police officials didn’t respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference Monday that the suspect was being held on charges unrelated to the shootings and that investigators had seized a weapon from one of the locations.
With few answers, the shootings confused and bewildered many state and county officials.
“You could have killed us,” said former County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, whose home was struck with 12 bullets on Dec. 11 while she and her husband slept.
“We thought somebody was pounding on the door with their fist," she continued. "Then we jumped out of bed. What if I had been walking around?”
Like Barboa, she said she refuses to live in fear or leave the community she has always known.
At least eight shots were fired at state Sen. Linda Lopez’s home on Jan 3. Neither she nor the state's newly elected attorney general, Raúl Torrez, whose former campaign office was targeted Dec. 10, could be reached for comment Tuesday.
Maestas said he doesn't understand why someone would do this.
“There doesn’t seem to be a political connection, like if we voted on the same bill,” he said Tuesday, adding he’s grateful police have been patrolling his home and those of the other victims.
Police said Monday that the home of the incoming speaker of the state House, Democratic Rep. Javier Martinez, was also targeted in early December but that he didn’t report it until he heard about the other shootings. He declined to comment Tuesday.