New Mexico Authorities Say They Have Evidence Needed To Prosecute Election Denier And Alleged Shooter

Screenshot "Meet The Press Now" / NBC News on Jan. 17, 2023.
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Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman said New Mexico officials believe they have “the pieces of the puzzle” and “the evidence” needed to prosecute Solomon Pena, a failed Republican state House candidate and election denier who was arrested this week in connection to multiple shootings at the homes of state Democratic officials. 

Bregman also confirmed what police have alleged about the suspect’s motivations.

“We believe we have obviously the evidence to prosecute this individual who really was, as the chief said last night, the mastermind of trying to strike fear in the hearts and minds of elected officials because he didn’t like the outcome of an election,” Bregman said in an interview with Meet The Press Now. “And that is just unacceptable. And we’ll do everything we can to bring them to justice and make sure that they are brought to justice.”

Pena, whose actions police say were likely fueled by conspiracy theories about election fraud and right-wing culture war issues, is in custody, Bregman confirmed on Meet The Press Now.

The shootings Pena is the alleged “mastermind” behind began after Pena lost his bid to represent the 14th District New Mexico’s House of Representatives last November. 

“We’re gonna hold this individual and others involved responsible in a court of law,” Bregnan said in the NBC News interview.

Bregman added that the uptick in political violence that we’re seeing across the country is “terrifying.” 

“An attack on an elected official is an attack on democracy,” Bregman said. “It is really troubling to see this uptick.”

He also emphasized this kind of political violence cuts across party lines. “Whether or not it’s a Democrat or Republican, it does not matter,” Bregman said. He added: “violence as a political speech” is just “unacceptable.” 

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