New Mexico police are investigating shots fired at an office of the state’s attorney general last month in connection with attacks on residences and the business of four other Democratic officials that have raised concerns of political violence.
Multiple shots were reported on Dec. 10 at the former campaign headquarters of now state Attorney General Raul Torrez, according to a statement by Albuquerque police late on Thursday.
The string of attacks began in early December, less than a month after midterm elections in which Democrats swept all New Mexico U.S. House seats and held control of the state legislature in a polarized political climate.
“We are worried and concerned these are connected and possibly politically motivated,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat, told a press conference, adding that the politicians may have been “targeted.”
The incidents began on Dec. 4 when eight shots were fired through the front door of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa’s home in southeast Albuquerque, police said.
A day after gunfire hit Torrez’s office, over a dozen shots were fired at then-Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley’s Albuquerque home on Dec. 11, police said.
On Tuesday night, multiple shots were fired at the southwest Albuquerque home of state Senator Linda Lopez.
“It’s scary for me and my children,” Lopez told local CBS affiliate television station KRQE, adding that three bullets went through her 10-year-old daughter’s room.
On Thursday, the downtown law office of state Senator Moe Maestas was struck, police said.
“They are all members of the Democratic Party that we know, so there’s always that connection,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina told the press conference.
The gunfire follows an October attack at then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home that experts said may have been an example of so-called stochastic terrorism in which individuals are inspired to violence by hate speech.