The concrete slab where Rio Arriba County officials planned to reinstall a statue of statue of conquistador and war criminal Juan de Oñate. (Photo by Anna Padilla for Source NM)
A person was shot during a prayer event in front of an Española building where Rio Arriba County officials planned to reinstall a statue of conquistador and war criminal Juan de Oñate.
Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s office confirmed that a man who arrived at the event in a white Tesla is in custody for the shooting.
Source NM reporters on scene said the young man had a gun in his waistband.
The person shot was identified as someone from Washington, who joined the group Thursday morning to oppose the plans to bring back the statue that was removed in 2020.
He was taken to the hospital alive and talking, according to the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office.
The shooting happened just before noon.
People who remained after the shooting were not allowed to leave the area, according to New Mexico State police.
Late Wednesday, Rio Arriba County officials canceled plans to put the Oñate statue on a concrete slab in front of a county building and also postponed a county commission meeting planned for 1 p.m.
After that announcement, people opposed to the statue held an event to pray and celebrate the county’s decision, described as a “win.”
More than a hundred people were at the event to celebrate and as the event continued, at least a dozen people arrived to antagonize the peaceful prayer event.
This is a developing story and Source NM will update as we get more information.
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