Witnesses detail Santa Rosa arrest of man suspected in Muslim shooting deaths in New Mexico

By: - August 9, 2022 3:00 pm

Downtown Santa Rosa (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The arrest of a suspect connected to the shooting deaths of four Muslim men in New Mexico occurred at an exit off Interstate 40 near Santa Rosa, N.M., several witnesses and local police told Source New Mexico.

The arrest occurred overnight near Exit 277, according to a Santa Rosa police dispatcher and an employee at a nearby gas station. The employee, James Anaya, also runs an ambulance service and said he heard a dispatch about the suspect in the high-profile killings being detained and shot with a beanbag round by police. 

Three of the killings happened over the last couple of weeks in Albuquerque. Santa Rosa is about a two-hour drive east.

Exit 277 has been closed since 12:45 a.m. today for a “police investigation,” according to NMRoads.com. 

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This morning, Anaya saw “just a whole sh*tload of vehicles, ambulances, cops, everything,” near the small New Mexico city of Santa Rosa, he said. 

Law enforcement officials from the Santa Rosa Police Department and the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed that the arrest occurred in the area, but they had few other details and did not know the suspect’s name, they said. 

The arrest came as welcome news in Albuquerque, which was rocked by the shooting deaths of four Muslim men since November 2021. Police have said the killings are connected. They also released an image of a sedan they believed belongs to a suspect. 

Police plan to release more information today at 3:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time in a news briefing.

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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard. Along the way, he's won several state and national awards for his reporting, including for an exposé on a cult-like Alcoholics Anonymous group and a feature on an Upstate New York militia member who died of COVID-19. He's thrilled to be back home in New Mexico, where he works to tell stories that resonate and make an impact.

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