YouTube Shorts / Raymond Naranjo

Suspect Shoots Artist During Protest Over Spanish Conquistador Statue In NM


A man from New Mexico, Ryan David Martinez, was charged with attempted murder following a shooting at a protest in Española. The protest revolved around plans to erect a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate. During Martinez’s first court appearance, he was read felony charges, including assault with a deadly weapon. No plea was recorded.

The intended statue of Oñate, who has a divisive history related to early Upper Rio Grande settlements, had previously been displayed near Española in the 1990s. It was removed in 2020 amidst a nationwide push for racial justice which aimed at dismantling various monuments. Although the reinstallation was set for Thursday, it was halted by county authorities due to security issues.

Amid the protest, a 42-year-old man was shot and later hospitalized in Albuquerque for an abdominal wound. His current health status remains undisclosed.

Evidence against Martinez comprises witness accounts that detailed a predominantly peaceful protest. These accounts noted the presence of several individuals wearing “MAGA” hats. Witnesses claimed Martinez attempted to approach an area where children were gathered near a base intended for the Oñate statue. Video footage from social media showed Martinez being stopped by several men. As he withdrew, Martinez allegedly drew a gun from his waistband and fired.

Martinez is now held at a detention facility in Rio Arriba County, with a hearing on pretrial detention conditions set for the upcoming week. Records indicate that Martinez has no prior convictions or court absences.

Things can happen quickly, and situations can turn for the worst in seconds, especially when tensions are high during a protest. The video seems to show Martinez drawing quickly, allowing little time for his target to get to safety. De-escalating situations, and being prepared to defend oneself if necessary, are all things everyone should be considering for their daily lives, even if they aren’t partaking in any high-tension activities.

About the Author

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, with a Shield Sights RMSC Red Dot, that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in a Vedder Holsters ComfortTuck IWB holster.

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