A man is in critical condition in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a Monday night protest demanding the removal of a statue of a despotic conquistador erupted into gunfire and chaos involving members of an armed vigilante group. Demonstrators gathered at the statue of Juan de Oñate—New Mexico’s 16th-century colonial governor—when gunfire broke out after activists took a pickaxe to the monument, The Albuquerque Journal reports. After the unidentified man was shot, police rushed in with riot gear, the man was taken away in an ambulance, and police arrested several members of a right-wing militia called the New Mexico Civil Guard, who were carrying rifles, the paper reports. Witnesses said the gunman was a white man in a blue shirt, The New York Times reported. Chief Michael Geier said state and federal authorities were investigating reports that vigilante groups instigated violence. “If this is true... [we] will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution.” The victim is in critical but stable condition, police said. Hours later, Mayor Tim Keller announced that the Oñate statue would be removed until “the appropriate civic institutions” could determine how to move forward.
TOP 10 RIGHT NOW