Person Shot At Rio Arriba County Complex By Man Wearing MAGA Hat

Rio Arriba County Complex/Photo by Veronica Trujillo

Managing Editor
Rio Grande Sun

A person was shot in the courtyard at the Rio Arriba County Complex on Thursday, according to multiple sources. 

Española Assistant Fire Chief John Wickersham confirmed that an Española ambulance transported a victim that was shot from the complex to Española Presbyterian.

Española Police Chief Mizel Garcia said the subject is now in custody. 

“There is a lot going,” Garcia said. “A lot of moving parts.”

Last night, Rio Arriba County released a press release postponing the reinstallment of the Oñate statue (for a “later date”), which was set for today.

The controversial statue of Juan de Onate was set to come back to “life” and was scheduled to be placed at the Rio Arriba County Complex on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at a ceremony beginning at 10 a.m.

According to an Albuquerque Journal reporter, who was there during the incident, a man — who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat — shot at a Native American man. The alleged shooter identified himself as Ryan Martinez to the Journal reporter. 

According to witnesses, the suspect left in a white Tesla but was apprehended by Española City Police and the victim’s first name is Jacob. Last name is unknown. 

On Thursday morning, Rio Arriba County Commission Chairman Alex Naranjo told the SUN that the statue did not go up on Thursday, as planned, because commissioners Brandon Bustos and Moises Morales were not in agreement with the decision.

After the shooting, Naranjo told the SUN he was “extremely disappointed with what’s happened,” and that he questioned where local law enforcement has been the past few days as people protested the statue.

Española Mayor John Ramon Vigil called the shooting “an unfortunate event in the City of Española.”

“This event in no way represents the values and heritage of the valley,” Vigil said. 

More details to come at

Additional reporting provided by freelancers Ben Sandoval and Samantha Chavez