Documents reveal what led to arrest of former Republican candidate Solomon Peña
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Documents show what led to the arrest of the failed Republican candidate, Solomon Peña, who is accused of organizing multiple shootings against Democratic lawmakers in Albuquerque.
Criminal complaints and arrest documents reveal Peña paid four men $500 each for the drive-by shootings. Albuquerque police say at least four Democratic lawmakers’ homes were shot up.
On Monday afternoon, Peña was taken into custody after Albuquerque police SWAT teams surrounded his downtown condo building.
On Tuesday, the Albuquerque Police Department released pictures showing Peña posing with multiple guns, and with one of the men police said Peña hired.
The man, Jose Trujillo, was arrested by APD in early January. He is being held in federal custody on gun and drug charges, and while he has been named in the shooting cases, so far, he isn’t facing any related charges.
But when police searched Trujillo’s phone, they found all four addresses of lawmakers were in his recent search history.
According to police reports, another man – who was involved in at least three of the shootings, and is also in jail on unrelated charges – acted as a confidential informant in this case
According to court documents, that confidential informant told police he supplied the guns as Trujillo and another man did the drive-by shootings late at night.
He says, at first, they were told to aim above windows, so they don’t hit anyone inside. But the informant told police by the fourth shooting at state Sen. Linda Lopez’s house, Peña was telling them to be more aggressive, to “aim lower,” and to go earlier in the evening.
After Peña’s arrest, there were signs of relief coming from the Roundhouse as they started the 2023 session.
“I wanted to say thank you again to the Albuquerque Police Department, those who have done the investigation on the crime that was committed, and also for our state police and other entities that were involved in this still ongoing investigation, but also thank you for everyone here for your calls, texts, and concerns,” said Lopez.
Newly-elected U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez condemned Peña’s actions while he was visiting Albuquerque Tuesday:
“Right now we’re in the news for all the wrong reasons, political violence should not be accepted anywhere,” Vasquez said. “And folks that want to intimidate or want to threaten any political official on any side of the aisle is completely unacceptable. I completely condemn the actions. And obviously, we’ll feet we’ll see how this case turns out. That is currently under investigation. But it is incredibly troubling, because we have to solve our issues and our differences by talking things out by sharing ideas. And by the election process. That’s the way we do things.”
KOB 4 also reached out to former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley about Monday’s arrest but did not hear back from her Tuesday.
- Dec. 4, 2022 – Several shots were fired at 4:41 p.m. at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa.
- Dec. 8, 2022 – Shots were fired at 6:52 a.m. at the home of House Speaker Javier Martinez.
- Dec. 11, 2022 – More than a dozen shots were fired at the home of then-Bernalillo Commissioner Debbie O’Malley.
- Jan. 3, 2023 – More than a dozen shots were fired shortly after midnight at the home of State Sen. Linda Lopez.