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Police Probe Shootings at Homes and Offices of Elected Democrats in New Mexico -- Update

The Wall Street Journal · 01/06/2023 16:12

By Ginger Adams Otis

Police in Albuquerque, N.M., are investigating five shootings over the past several weeks that may have targeted homes and offices of local Democratic officials.

No one was wounded by the gunfire and authorities have not yet determined whether the attacks are connected, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said. The homes of two county officials and a state senator were hit and shots were fired near the offices of a second state senator and the state attorney general, according to police.

Federal authorities are assisting in the investigation, Chief Medina said in a statement Thursday.

National and local lawmakers from both parties as well as judges have faced escalating harassment and threats of violence in recent years, as political divisions have deepened in many places.

Some of those affected include Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was targeted in June 2022 by an armed man who said he planned to kill him, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, who faced a kidnap plot in 2020.

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who served on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, shared a photo over the summer of a letter he said was sent to his wife.

"He will be executed," the author wrote, adding that Mr. Kinzinger's wife and 5-month-old son would be joining him in hell.

In New Mexico, the first shooting occurred on Dec. 4, when someone fired eight rounds at the southeastern Albuquerque residence of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa around 4:41 p.m., police said.

A week later, a shooting occurred at the home of then-Bernalillo Commissioner Debbie O'Malley in North Valley, a suburb of the city. More than a dozen rounds hit the walls and house, the Albuquerque Police Department said.

On Tuesday, at least eight shots were fired at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez in southwestern Albuquerque. The shots occurred sometime after midnight, according to police.

Police responded Thursday morning to a report of three gunshots in downtown Albuquerque, near the law office where state Sen. Moe Maestas works, the department said. No damage was found at the building.

Later that day, Albuquerque police said they were re-evaluating a shooting that occurred Dec. 10 near the former campaign office of Raúl Torrez, who was elected New Mexico attorney general in November.

Investigators are assessing evidence from all five shooting locations to see if they are linked, police said.

"We are working as quickly as possible with our federal partners to analyze the evidence," Chief Medina wrote on Twitter.

The state attorney general's office declined to comment on Friday, citing the ongoing investigation.

Ms. Barboa said police had given her a 24-hour escort as of Thursday.

The other officials and Ms. O'Malley weren't immediately available to comment.

Write to Ginger Adams Otis at Ginger.AdamsOtis@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2023 16:12 ET (21:12 GMT)

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