Solomon Peña, an avid Trump supporter and failed Republican candidate who ran for the New Mexico House and lost by nearly 50%, then claimed election fraud, led a group of five men who shot at the homes of four Democrats – two state reps, a current county commissioner, and a former commissioner.
Peña paid four other men to do the shootings and participated in at least one of the shootings himself.
He also let at least one of the men who did the shootings borrow his car.
Prior to the crimes, the suspect visited the homes of at least three of the people targeted – the two commissioners, and one of the state reps, Linda Lopez, now a state senator.
Though he did not issue any threats at the time, a visit to former commissioner Barbara O’Malley’s home alarmed her enough that she was prompted to report it to the police, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The shootings began in the late afternoon on December 4, 2022, when County Commissioner Adriann Barboa’s home in Albuquerque was hit eight times.
On December 8, Representative Javier Martinez’s home would sustain damage from four bullet holes, though this was not discovered till a month later.
Former commissioner O’Malley’s home was hit on the 8th.
And Lopez’s home was attacked just after midnight on January 3rd.
Three bullets entered the room of her ten-year-old daughter while the little girl slept. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Amazingly enough, despite his strange encounters with state officials, during which Peña thrust at them nonsensical information garnered from the internet supposedly showing how his failed election bid was the result of fraud, and despite the fact that he had ranted online about losing, and had a prison record, serving seven years for efforts to steal from large chain stores, the police were unable to zero in on Peña until after the January 3rd shooting.
That shooting set off a ShotSpotter system alarm.
Within an hour, cops happened to pull over José Trujillo, who was driving Peña’s car.
In it they found a Glock and AR pistol, plus hundreds of fentanyl pills.
They nabbed Trujillo on an outstanding warrant, yet it would still be weeks before they were able to execute a search warrant on Peña.
The FBI also assisted in the investigation.
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
The attacks were condemned by both Democrats and Republicans.
However, the fact that Peña is such a staunch Trump supporter whose language echoes that of Kari Lake should be yet another cause for concern.
The incidents are reminiscent of the brutal assault on Paul Pelosi by another Trump acolyte, David DePape, which took place in October.
According to his online rants, Peña was also present for the January 6 insurrection spurred by Trump.
It should not be lost on anyone, too, that Peña’s stint in prison for what was evidently a nonviolent property crime, may have made him mentally unstable.
Join Ross on Twitter by clicking on @RossRosenfeld.