Suspect arrested in shooting that injured 1 at site of New Mexico statue protest

Sept. 29 (UPI) -- One person was arrested after a shooting that injured one person at a rally against plans to erect a statue of a Spanish conquistador in New Mexico.

Ryan Martinez, 23, was arrested by Pojoaque Pueblo police at around 12:15 p.m. MDT on Thursday after fleeing the scene in a white Tesla.


Protesters had gathered at the Rio Arriba County government building in Espanola, N.M., to demonstrate against the county government's plan to install the nearly 30-year-old bronze statue of the Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate.

Witnesses said a scuffle took place during a speech at the site before a shot rang out as organizers said Martinez attempted to make his way up to a pedestal where the statue was set to be placed.

One person, identified as Jacob Johns, of Spokane, Wash., was struck by a single bullet in the chest and was in stable condition at Presbyterian Espanola Hospital.

Authorities did not immediately provide further details of the shooting, including publicly naming Martinez as the suspect or what charges he may face.

The statue of Onate was taken down by the Rio Arriba County government in 2020, with some accusing him of enslaving the local Pueblo population. '


"He stood for violence, for genocide, for rape," Jennifer Marley of the group San Ildefonso Pueblo, said. "That point was proven today."

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