Dramatic video captures the sound of a shooting breaking out during a tense scene between the New Mexico Civil Guard and protesters. Other videos showed the aftermath of the shooting scene. You can watch videos of the shooting breaking out throughout this article. Be aware that the language in them is graphic.
Albuquerque Police confirmed that a man was shot at the protest in Albuquerque, writing on Twitter, “PD is investigating a shooting that just occurred at Mountain/Rio Grande. The shooting occurred during a protest event. One male subject was shot and has been transported. Officers are securing the scene. The public should avoid the area.This scene remains active and under investigation. We will provide updates when they are available.”
A man was arrested in connection to the shooting. His name is Steven Ray Baca, 31. The injured man was in critical but stable condition.
The complaint says that cell phone footage shows that Steven Baca Jr. was at the scene “in what appears to be a manner in which to protect the statue from protesters.” He was also recorded “interacting with the crowd.”
Later on, an undercover police detective “observed several members from what appeared to be the main protesting group pursuing Steven on foot while he backed away from them, utilizing pepper spray to douse the oncoming crowd.”
The complaint describes the shooting, saying, “A second male is observed holding the end of the longboard with two hands and swinging it toward the area of Steven’s head and upper body. At this time, a series of gunshots are heard, and the longboard is dropped to the ground. Steven is recorded as holding a black-colored semi-automatic handgun and firing several shots. The male dressed in black…who had struck Steven with the longboard suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and was immediately rendered aid by other bystanders in the crowd.”
The complaint also describes how members of the crowd physically struck Baca before the shooting.
The complaint also describes how, before the shooting, “Steven continued to retreat away from the crowd while walking quickly backward and holding up his hand with his palm toward the crowd as if to separate himself from it. The group appeared to maliciously pursue Steven, with several of the crowd’s individuals physically striking Steven’s body with their hands and legs. Steven was struck by a male individual with what appears to be a green in color longboard.” He declined to give a statement to authorities.
The complaint says that “after discharging the weapon,” Baca was seen “manipulating the firearm before placing it on the ground.”
Baca is accused of “knowingly and intentionally discharged the firearm at the victim during the protest regarding the attempted removal of the Don Juan de Onate statue,” according to KRQE.
One dramatic video shows a scuffle between Baca and other people before gunshots break out.
Members of the guard were trying to protect a statute from the crowd, which was intent on pulling down the statue. Eventually the armed guard members stepped down from the statue. One video shows that some people began chasing after another man in a blue shirt who had been milling around in the crowd. “Go home,” and “get out of here,” and “instigator,” people shout on the video right before the shooting. One person hit the man with a skateboard. The man in the blue shirt doesn’t appear standing on the statue with the group of militia members, at least not in the videos circulating on social media. Rather, he’s milling around the crowd.
Watch a lengthy video from the scene here on Instagram.
Gunfire then breaks out, but you can’t see the actual shooting in the video. It was not immediately clear whether the man was affiliated with the guard. People appear to be scuffling in the street when the gunshots ring out. “F*ck, he f*cking shot somebody. F*ck. Oh my God,” the narrator of the video says. The woman who posted that video later privatized it. However, other dramatic videos emerged from the scene. You can watch videos from the scene throughout this article.
The wounded man’s identity is not clear.
Some people said the shooter was a member of the Civil Guard but that was not yet confirmed by authorities. KOB 4 did report, “A number of members with the New Mexico Civil Guard, a self-described civilian militia, were seen being arrested.”
Members of the Guard did surround and protect Baca after the shooting. This video shows he immediately got on his cell phone. It’s not clear whether Baca was a member of the guard.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Statue Features a Conquistador Named Juan de Oñate
Other video, which you can see above, showed two people on the crowd surrounded by law enforcement.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the man was shot in Old Town, and the protest was over a sculpture known as “La Jornada.” The newspaper reported that five or six “heavily armed New Mexico Civil Guard members” were present to try to “protect the monument that features conquistador Juan de Oñate.”
The newspaper reported that the man in the blue shirt was in a “fight” with “people trying to pull down the statue” and “was pushed onto the street, pulled a can of mace from his pocket and sprayed it.”
According to Britannica, Juan de Onate was a “conquistador who established the colony of New Mexico for Spain. During his despotic governorship, he vainly sought the mythical riches of North America and succeeded instead in unlocking the geographical secrets of what is now the southwestern United States.” As Governor, he was found guilty of “cruelty, immorality, and false reporting,” the site reports.
According to Eastern New Mexico News, the New Mexico Civil Guard has the mission of “Defend citizens and their private property.” It’s a civilian group.
“We will not allow businesses in our community to be put through the pain we’ve seen nationwide,” their Facebook page reads. “The protests are necessary, we fully understand that, and to an extent the violence is necessary, but we will not allow that violence to be directed at our citizens and their property.”