Failed Candidate 'Masterminded' Shootings at Dems' Homes: Cops

Police say Solomon Pena hired 4 men in shooting scheme
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2023 12:48 AM CST
Failed GOP Candidate Arrested in Shootings at Democrats' Homes
Solomon Pena, center, a Republican candidate for New Mexico House District 14, is taken into custody by Albuquerque Police officers, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in southwest Albuquerque, N.M.   (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Police say a failed Republican political candidate hired four men to carry out shootings at the homes of elected Democratic officials in New Mexico. Solomon Pena, who has previously declared his support for former President Trump and may have attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, lost his bid for a state House seat in the last election, refused to concede, and blamed election fraud, Axios reports. The shootings took place at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators in December and January, and police believe Pena was present for at least one of them, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Police also say that in November, Pena had gone to the homes of three of the officials who were later targeted in the shooting scheme, to complain that the election, which he lost by a wide margin, was fraudulent. The Albuquerque Police Department SWAT team surrounded a condo complex Monday afternoon, believing Pena may be armed, and announced, "Solomon Pena please come out with your hands up, we have the place surrounded." One man suspected to have been hired by Pena has been arrested and is facing federal drug trafficking and firearms charges, but the names of the other three suspects have not yet been released. (More New Mexico stories.)

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