Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said on Thursday they are investigating possible links between four shootings over the past month directed at the homes or place of business of two state senators and two county commissioners.
Nobody was injured in the four shootings, the latest of which occurred shortly before noon on Thursday and appeared directed at the law office of state Senator Moe Maestas in downtown Albuquerque, the state’s largest city, police said.
The building was unscathed, according to a statement issued by the Albuquerque Police Department.
The first three shootings, on Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Jan. 3, left bullet damage to the homes of three other elected officials – Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, then-Commissioner Debbie O’Malley and state Senator Linda Lopez, police said.
All four of the politicians were Democrats but police gave no indication as to a possible motive or why investigators are treating the shootings as possibly connected, other than the similar circumstances surrounding them.
“Our detectives are working overtime to track down the offender or offenders and hold them responsible,” city police Chief Harold Medina said in a statement.
Eight rounds were fired at Barboa’s home, more than a dozen at O’Malley’s house, and at least eight at Lopez’s residence, police said.
In the latest incident, officers responded to a report of gunshots heard in the area of Maestas’ law office. Investigators determined that three rounds were fired at that location, though no damage to the building was detected, according to the department.
“Detectives are working to determine whether the shootings are related,” police said in their statement.
The shootings come amid a backdrop of highly partisan rhetoric and rising fears of politically motivated violence at all levels of government in the United States.
Those concerns have been especially heightened since the Jan. 6, 2020, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump, the more recent assault on former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, and revelations of a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.