Albuquerque Police Department announced the arrest of Solomon Peña Monday afternoon for the recent shootings at the homes of elected officials.
Peña is a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for office in November. He has claimed that the election was rigged and appears to have attended the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection in Washington, D.C. He is accused of conspiring with and paying four men to shoot at the homes of two state legislators and two county commissioners. All the shootings were directed at Democrats.
APD detectives said that “Peña paid the men cash and sent text messages with addresses where he wanted them to shoot at the homes. Peña also went with the men and attempted to shoot at one of the homes, but the AR handgun he was using malfunctioned. Another shooter fired more than a dozen rounds from a separate handgun.”
Search warrants were served Monday at Peña’s apartment and at the home of two of the men who were allegedly paid by Peña. Peña did not talk to detectives. He was arrested and will be charged with several state crimes.
“This is example of law enforcement coming together and working together to solve this case,” Police Chief Harold Medina said. “I want to thank our partners at the FBI, New MSP, BCSO for their work, and the US Attorney and District Attorney for working with us every step of the way.
Peña lost the race for state House District 14 to incumbent Rep. Miguel Garcia. Garcia had sued Peña in August 2022, arguing that Peña was not eligible to serve in the Legislature because he is a convicted felon and was not pardoned by the Governor. A judge ruled in September that Peña could remain on the ballot because the law is unconstitutional.
Peña will be charged in connection to the following shootings, which caused damage at all four homes:
Dec. 4, 2022 – Several shots were fired at 4:41 p.m. at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa in Southeast Albuquerque.
Dec. 8, 2022 – Shots were fired at 6:52 a.m. at the home of House Speaker Javier Martinez in the North Valley.
Dec. 11, 2022 – More than a dozen shots were fired at the home of then-Bernalillo Commissioner Debbie O’Malley in the North Valley.
Jan. 3, 2023 – More than a dozen shots were fired shortly after Midnight at the home of State Sen. Linda Lopez in Southwest Albuquerque.
Nobody was injured in the shootings, which resulted in damage to four homes. Detectives no longer believe the shootings are connected to reports of shots fired near a campaign office of the Attorney General, nor the law office of a state senator.
Peña was first connected to the shooting at Sen. Lopez’s home following a ShotSpotter notification on Jan. 3, at 12:48 a.m. Shell casings were discovered at the scene and matched to a handgun that was confiscated during a traffic stop 40 minutes after the shooting at Lopez’s home. A Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a silver Nissan Maxima at 1:28 a.m. on Jan. 3, the same night as the shooting. During the traffic stop, the deputy arrested the driver, identified as Jose Trujillo, who had a felony arrest warrant. Deputies discovered over 800 fentanyl pills in the center console and two firearms in the trunk. One gun was a Glock handgun with a drum magazine and the other was an AR pistol.
“There was a multitude of technology that helped us identify the five individuals involved in this conspiracy,” APD Acting Commander Kyle Hartsock said. “The investigation is still on going, but with the help of technology, we were able to arrest Mr. Peña today for orchestrating these shootings.”
Peña tweeted on Nov. 16 that he never conceded his race for House District 14 and is researching his options.
Trump just announced for 2024. I stand with him. I never conceded my HD 14 race. Now researching my options. pic.twitter.com/sKVHhxG9Vq
— Solomon Pena for NM (@SolomonPena2022) November 16, 2022
“This type of radicalism is a threat to our nation that has made its way to our doorstep right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. “But we will push back, and not allow this hate to cross the threshold.”