< Back to 68k.news US front page

Three people killed, five injured in Red River shootout

Original source (on modern site) | Article images: [1]

Updated May 28 at 1:25 p.m.

A Rio Rancho man is charged with murder in connection with a shooting in Red River on Saturday (May 27) that left what authorities described as three "outlaw motorcycle club members" dead and five more injured, the Taos News has confirmed, putting an early end to the town's 41st Annual Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally.

Red River Mayor Linda Calhoun told the Taos News that all suspects in the shooting had been taken into custody, and there were no longer any immediate threats to public safety. 

"We plan for this event every year, it's our 41st year to do this," Calhoun told the Taos News in a phone interview around 10:30 Saturday night. "And we had about 40 state police in town, our five law enforcement, and we had some county sheriff's [deputies]. Always, when there's that big of a group in town, you know 25,000 people, there's the possibility that something could happen.

"I think the first officer was on the scene within 30 seconds of the call going out and the scene was contained," Calhoun added, noting that the shooting appeared to be gang related.

New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson updated reporters gathered at the Red River Visitor Center on Sunday morning, confirming that the shootout was between members of two motorcycle clubs: the Bandidos and the Waterdogs.

The shooting in Red River stemmed from an earlier "confrontation in Albuquerque," Johnson said, "and spilled over into here." 

State Police said in a Sunday press release that the shooting was first reported at 5:00 p.m. in the area of East Main Street, where officers arrived to find two deceased individuals and six injured individuals. Five of the injured individuals were transported to local hospitals, where one was later pronounced deceased. The sixth injured individual was airlifted to a Denver hospital. 

"All eight individuals involved were identified as outlaw motorcycle gang members," the state police release stated. "The three deceased individuals have been identified as Anthony Silva, 26 of Los Lunas, NM, Randy Sanchez, 46 of Albuquerque, NM, and Damian Breaux, 46 of Socorro, NM.

"Through investigation, state police agents learned that a confrontation occurred between multiple outlaw motorcycle gang members," the release continued. "Jacob David Castillo, 30, of Rio Rancho, NM was charged with an open count of murder. He was injured during the incident and is currently hospitalized. Upon his release, he will be booked into the Taos County Detention Center."

One of the injured individuals was arrested on unrelated charges, according to the release. Christopher Garcia, 41, of, TX was charged with possession of cocaine. He was released from the hospital and booked into the Taos County Detention Center upon release. In addition, Mathew Charles Jackson, 39 of Austin, TX was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm in a liquor establishment and booked into the Taos County Detention Center as well.

"The remaining four injured individuals, 53-, 31-, and 43-year-old males, have not yet been charged with a crime," state police said. "They will not be identified unless they are eventually charged with a crime. The current condition of all individuals injured is not known."

The incident in Red River on Saturday spurred Town of Taos Mayor Pascual Maestas to institute a rare ban on alcohol sales within town limits from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Sunday (May 28), as well as a curfew until the same time Sunday.

Maestas said the emergency proclamation was due the massive law enforcement and emergency services response in Red River and corresponding acute lack of first responders available in Taos.The emergency measures were not renewed, and there is "no intent at this moment to extend" the curfew or alcohol ban, Town Manager Andrew Gonzales told the Taos News.

In a Facebook post, the Taos Pueblo Emergency Management Team also announced the pueblo would be closing "a short period of time due to the recent Red River shooting and local activity causing concern." Taos Pueblo police units were stationed at its two main entrances with lights flashing throughout the night on Saturday.

Taos County Manager Brent Jaramillo, who is also a Village of Questa councilor, told the Taos News that the Taos County Healing Field of Honor Memorial Day celebration in Questa had been canceled "due to the events in Red River. I asked the courthouse flea market to shut down as well."

Police scanner activity painted a chaotic scene in the Enchanted Circle on Saturday evening.

"Be advised, there is another shootout going on — a rolling shootout — between Bandidos [Motorcycle Club] and someone else," an officer reported at approximately 5:45 p.m. over Taos County Central Dispatch.

Another law enforcement officer advised over police radio that "They are shutting down Red River," just before 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening (May 27). At 6:30 p.m., another officer advised that between 25 and 30 motorcyclists were headed through Taos, adding to multiple reports that large groups of bikers were either following ambulances or headed to points south.

As of 7:00 p.m., Holy Cross was relatively quiet outside, with an air ambulance arriving to pick up a victim for emergency transport at 7:15.

Holy Cross Medical Center was locked down around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, as authorities prepared for an influx of Bandidos and Waterdogs club members. 

"It's been our experience when dealing with these types of gangbangers that when someone gets shot, all their friends like to go there," Johnson said. "Obviously there's a ton of innocent people there who needed our protection."

As of 10:00 a.m. Sunday, the hospital was no longer locked down and "is operating as normal," according to a spokesperson.

According to the police scanner, ambulances began to arrive at the hospital around 6:00 p.m Saturday evening. Multiple victims were flown from Holy Cross to trauma centers, according to dispatch reports. Johnson said one gunshot victim is being treated in Denver, while the rest are being treated in Albuquerque

Outlaw behavior "is not going to be tolerated this Memorial Day Weekend or any Memorial Day Weekend moving forward," Johnson said, announcing that DWI checkpoints will be erected on both sides of Red River along N.M. 38, and indicating that law enforcement across the state and potentially in other states are on the lookout for "lawless gangbangers," particularly members of the Bandidos and Waterdogs.

"Anyone who can be arrested will be arrested," Johnson said, adding that police statewide will have "zero tolerance" for traffic violations. 

Johnson asked witnesses and those who may have recorded video of the shooting or events leading up to the shooting to contact state police at (505) 425-6771 option 1.

< Back to 68k.news US front page