Suspect charged for shooting man at Juan de Oñate statue protest

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ESPAÑOLA, N.M. — A man faces two charges for a shooting at a protest over the controversial Juan de Oñate statue Thursday in Española.

The shooting happened around 12:15 p.m. Thursday near the Rio Arriba County Complex.

One group was celebrating the postponement of the rededication of the Oñate statue. Standing by was a smaller group arguing their culture and history were being ignored. For the most part, they stayed separate, until one individual jumped a wall and ran toward the protesters.

Video shows the Oñate protesters trying to tackle the man – later identified as 23-year-old Ryan Martinez – as he ran toward the group. The protesters ripped off his “Make America Great Again” hat as he jumped back over the wall – firing one shot that hit a protester.

Medics took the victim and airlifted him to Albuquerque where he is still hospitalized.

Meanwhile, witnesses said Martinez drove away in a white Tesla. As he did, a criminal complaint indicates someone tried chasing him down in their truck.

Española police officers took over the chase and soon pulled Martinez over near U.S. 84/285.

Officers arrested and charged him with attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Martinez appeared in court Friday morning and will remain in jail without bond, ahead of his next hearing Monday.

KOB 4 reached out to the chair of the Rio Arriba County Commission, Alex Naranjo, who is a big proponent of rededicating the statue. We asked if he still wants the Oñate statue put up in front of the clerk’s office.

“If it was up to me, that statue would go back up – when? I don’t know,” Naranjo said. “But the fact of the matter is, I’m not going to melt that statue just to satisfy two or three individuals that are not even from this reality.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for the shooting victim for his recovery.