A violent carjacking in a parking lot at a Rail Runner Express train station south of Santa Fe sent a 73-year-old man to the hospital with a gunshot wound Monday morning.
The attack comes one week after a shooting at the Rail Runner’s South Capitol Station killed one man and left another critically injured.
Santa Fe police responded to a report around 9 a.m. Monday at the N.M. 599 Station that a man had been shot by a gunman who stole his car.
Santa Fe police Deputy Chief Paul Joye initially said the man had been taken to a local hospital and was undergoing surgery. The Santa Fe Police Department later said in a news release the man had been transferred to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque and was listed in critical condition.
Police have not yet named the victim and did not identify any suspect or make an arrest in the carjacking. The stolen vehicle was recovered Monday afternoon in Albuquerque following a tip, the agency said in the news release.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Ríos said the injured man had approached a deputy who was completing paperwork in a gravel parking lot near the Rail Runner stop. The man told the deputy he had been shot in the face by a man who drove off in his black 2020 Chrysler 300 sedan.
The car was seen traveling south on Interstate 25 on Monday morning, and officers suspected it had a broken window, Joye said, because glass was found at the scene.
The Rail Runner commuter train halted its stops at the N.M. 599 Station for several hours Monday but had reopened the station in time for the evening commute, said Augusta Meyers, a spokeswoman for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, which oversees the train’s operation.
Although neither shooting this month at a Rail Runner station occurred on a train, and neither appeared to be connected to the train, Meyers said the incidents were concerning and do “not bode well” for the transit district as it tries to rebuild public interest in riding the train so quickly after it relaunched its services.
The train was shut down to passengers for nearly a year during the coronavirus pandemic. It began offering passenger service again March 8.
“We want to make sure people feel safe when they’re taking our trains,” Meyers said.
New measures to ensure safety and security at Rail Runner stations may be addressed in the near future, she added. “It’s still early, but you can bet we’re going to be looking at [more safety measures] soon.”
Police arrested 22-year-old Matthew Arellano on charges of murder and attempted murder in last week’s shooting at the South Capitol Station. The shooting killed 24-year-old David Hernandez of Pojoaque and wounded 38-year-old Eli Trujillo. Police believe a dispute over a drug deal between the two victims and a friend of Arellano’s prompted the deadly incident.
The Santa Fe Police Department asked anyone with information regarding the carjacking incident to contact Detective Rebecca Hilderbrandt at 505-955-5265 or 505-427-3710.