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Man shot and wounded at New Mexico protest over installation of Spanish conquistador statue

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First responders arrive at the scene of a shooting Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, in Española, N.M., where a protest over a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate turned violent. A suspect was taken into custody after allegedly shooting and wounding a man at the protest Thursday, authorities said. (Luis Sánchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — A suspect was taken into custody after allegedly taking pictures and wounding a person at a protest Thursday in Española the place officers had deliberate to put in a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, authorities stated.

Rio Arriba County sheriff’s officers stated Ryan Martinez, 23, was taken into custody in reference to the taking pictures exterior county places of work the place protesters had gathered and lingered after the set up of a monument was cancelled.

Authorities stated they weren’t presently searching for every other suspects in reference to the taking pictures.

The wounded man was shot within the higher torso and was being handled at a neighborhood hospital, based on sheriff’s officers.

The names of the wounded man and the suspect weren’t instantly launched. Authorities stated a motive for the taking pictures was unclear.

“As soon as once more, the saddest half about that is we’ve one other incident of gun violence,” county Sheriff Billy Merrifield stated at a short information convention Thursday afternoon.

Merrifield stated he expressed issues about issues of safety to county commissioners about reinstalling the statue in Espanola exterior the county constructing. He stated he was grateful to commissioners who determined towards placing up the statue.

Merrifield stated he didn’t have any up to date details about the alleged shooter and the wounded man. He declined to take any questions and stated New Mexico State Police was dealing with the crime scene and the investigation.

The Albuquerque Journal reported there was a scuffle amongst activists protesting the set up of the statue.

The taking pictures occurred simply exterior the doorways of county places of work, which embrace sheriff places of work. Greater than 20 legislation enforcement automobiles responded, crowding an Española metropolis roadway that overlooks the Higher Rio Grande Valley.

Tony Ortega, a 78-year-old retired technician who labored on the Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratory, stated he was glad to listen to the county deliberate to place the Oñate statue again on public show as a logo of native Hispanic pleasure. However he stated he knew it could trigger hassle.

“I knew this was going to be an issue. Native People don’t need it,” Ortega stated. “They suppose Oñate was a foul individual kind of.”

Oñate, who arrived in present-day New Mexico in 1598, is widely known as a cultural father determine in communities alongside the Higher Rio Grande that hint their ancestry to Spanish settlers. However he’s additionally reviled for his brutality.

To Native People, Oñate is understood for having ordered the fitting ft lower off of 24 captive tribal warriors after his troopers stormed the Acoma Pueblo’s mesa-top “sky metropolis.” That assault was precipitated by the killing of Onate’s nephew.

In 1998, somebody sawed the fitting foot off the statue of Oñate close to Española.

A likeness of Oñate amongst a caravan of Spanish colonists set in bronze exterior an Albuquerque metropolis museum has additionally drawn protests because it was put in within the late Nineties.

Opponents say that statue glorifies white supremacy and lately have referred to as for Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to take away it.

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Related Press writers Terry Tang and Walter Berry contributed to this story from Phoenix.

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