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Police built a blind to shield the body from view at the scene of a fatal shooting at the South Capitol Rail Runner Express station Monday.

A Monday afternoon shooting at the South Capitol Rail Runner station that left one man dead and another wounded astonished local law enforcement and officials of the agency overseeing train operations.

The death is at least the city’s fifth homicide in the first four months of 2021. Officials said the violence on the train station platform was far from ordinary.

“I don’t remember the last incident like this we’ve had at a station,” police Capt. Anthony Tapia said.

The police department had not released the names of the shooting victims late Monday, and Tapia said the agency still had no suspects but was continuing to investigate.

Officers responded to reports of shots fired around 3:45 p.m. at the commuter train station — located amid several state government building complexes between St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road, just southwest of the busy intersection where the roadways meet.

One man was dead at the scene and another was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for treatment, police said. The department said in a news release the man’s condition was not known.

About an hour after the shooting, the station had been cleared of all passengers and was filled with police. Officers had set up a blind around the deceased man on the platform and were scanning the area for evidence.

Augusta Meyers, a spokeswoman for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, which oversees the Rail Runner Express commuter train, said the shooting occurred on the northern end of the South Capitol Station’s platform, not in one of the train cars.

While the Rail Runner previously has had incidents involving minor altercations or public disruptions, Meyers said Monday’s incident was the first homicide at one of its facilities.

“We have never had any violence of this magnitude at any of our platforms,” she said. “It’s disconcerting, but it appears to be an isolated incident that, thankfully, did not originate on the train or have anything to do with the train itself.”

The Rail Runner station closed to all trains and the public Monday afternoon, with entrances on Alta Vista Street and Cordova Road blocked to traffic. Passengers arriving in Santa Fe on the train were bused from the Zia Road Station to the Santa Fe Depot in the Railyard.

The transit district also had a spare set of trains standing by “in case any passengers were missed,” Meyers said.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said no state employees who work at neighboring buildings were affected, as far as she knew.

“Any incidence of gun violence is of course deeply troubling and saddening,” Nora Meyers Sackett wrote in an email. “We haven’t heard of any state employees being affected — most state workers in those buildings are still working remotely — but we’ll keep in touch with the Santa Fe police as needed.”

Tapia said police hope to be finished investigating the shooting scene by Tuesday morning.

According to Meyers, the Rail Runner would resume its regular schedule Tuesday unless police were still investigating at the South Capitol Station.

Monday’s shooting comes in the wake of two homicides at the GreenTree Inn and two other fatal shootings in Santa Fe this year.

Arthur Loretto, 52, was found dead Feb. 21 in a room at the Cerrillos Road motel. Police said the investigation into Loretto’s death is ongoing, but they have named no suspects.

Virgil Tortalita’s body was found decomposing in a bathtub in a room at the GreenTree on Jan. 4. Alvin Crespin, 45, was arrested on a murder charge in the death of 50-year-old Tortalita.

Local radio DJ Peter Gurule, 40, died Jan. 18 in the doorway of his home on Rancho Siringo Road. Edwin Anaya, 33, was arrested nearby and is accused of fatally shooting Gurule.

And Randall Lopez recently was arrested in the Jan. 8 shooting death of Frank Pete outside an apartment in the Hopewell-Mann neighborhood.

(25) comments

Ernest Green

I ride my bike through here and Pen Road occasionally, for the last year there's been almost no people due to the lack of an operating train as well as the closure of nearby state offices, let alone people standing or using the benches for sitting on the actual platform. A fast recovery to the injured and sincere condolences to the departed.

B. Rosen

Sad to see yet another life lost to gun violence. Hopefully as the pandemic winds down and the economy recovers we will also see a downturn in violent crime here. Stay safe!

Dan Frazier

As of 2019, New Mexico had a murder rate of 8.6 per 100,000 people, making it the 9th most murderous state or territory in the U.S. If five people have been murdered in Santa Fe in the first four months of the year, and if the population is 84,000, the murder rate for the year will be about 6 (per 1000,000 people). This assumes that there are no more murders, which is unlikely. If murders continue at this pace in Santa Fe, the murder rate (per 100,0000) will be at least 18 by the end of the year. If Santa Fe was a state, it would be on pace to be the most murderous state in the nation using statistics from 2019. In 2019, only the territories of Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico surpassed Santa Fe's projected murder rate for 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Khal Spencer

Homicides went up dramatically all over the country during the pandemic. Its not just Santa Fe. Good article in NPR.

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/06/953254623/massive-1-year-rise-in-homicide-rates-collided-with-the-pandemic-in-2020

Prince Michael Jauregui

The murder-rate across "America" has continued to exponentially for the last two decades. A once-Godly blessed and thriving nation, Today, slowly and surely drowns in the blood of We, The People.

The inept, over-paid and over-fed ATF, FBI, Et Al? Those wicked, power-tripping agencies are too busy doing their dirty work.

"America", -literally- doesn't have a prayer.

"So cope with the world, keep passin' the buck/and while The Future lives to die, looks like you better duck/and hold on to the children, the little boy and the girl/before they get caught-up in our Freaky Deaky World." "Freaky Deaky World" by The Gangsta of Love (c)1997 Jonah Productions/Melchizedek Muse Music

Khal Spencer

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45236.pdf

Congressional Research Service, Recent Violent CrimeTrends in the United States Nathan James Analyst in Crime Policy

Lupe Molina

This is just not true, its an outright lie. Crime has trended downward for decades across the country.

Prince Michael Jauregui

"Ms. Molina", I -and perhaps Mr. Spencer- was alluding to Murder/Homicide. Can you fathom the number of mass-shootings alone? Nonetheless, I hope you have a good day - whether you like it or not.

Lupe Molina

You actually have to look at the stats. It doesn't matter what you fathom. The link Mr. Spencer posted says quite clearly in the intro that crime, including homicide has been trending down over the last many decades nationwide.

Prince Michael Jauregui

"Ms. Molina", in all honesty, I did not look at either of the references provided by the often-impressive Mr. Spencer. Overstand - if you will- after decades in broadcasting, coupled with decades of close association with some of the most respected newspaper publishers, editors and journalist, first and foremost, I consider the source of information, Suffice for it to say, for now, I maintain zero-respect for NPR, much less, Congressional Research Services . Be clear, statistics can be -and are- slanted, skewed and weighted improperly, again, depending on the source. Still, I appreciate your time and deep concerns for my observations.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" Mr. Bob Dylan

Lupe Molina

Oh, okay. Well good for you, that when the facts don't fit your narrative, you just deny science and research. But you can just say "I am a conspiracy theorist," you don't have to be so vague and wordy.

Khal Spencer

They have been trending down for decades and in general, for centuries. But last year was a significant uptick from recent years. Jeff Asher, a former CIA analyst turn crime analyst, has done some really fine work on this.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/28/upshot/murders-2020-election-debate.html

Sloan Cunningham

Capital vs Capitol really NM editors and writers. Capital can be a noun or an adjective. Capital can refer to uppercase letters, accumulated wealth, or the city that serves as the seat of a country's or state's government. A capitol is a building in which the legislative body of government meets.

Donna Gomien

South "Capitol" is the name of the station, so not really the SFNM editors' fault. As for me, it took me years to notice that "Santa Fe Woman's Club" is its real name and not just an ongoing typo. If there is any commentator out there who can explain the notion of the "club of one," I would be interested. Philosophers welcome!

Anita McGinnis

A few years ago, I briefly attended Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. The explanation given for the use of "Woman's University" was that the emphasis was on the significance and importance of each woman as an individual.

Donna Gomien

I would love to think that the founders of the Santa Fe Woman's Club were thinking that way in 1892! Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.

Miranda Viscoli

And if there had not been a gun/s?

Khal Spencer

And what do you propose, since we don't know squat about who, what, or why?

Prince Michael Jauregui

Well put, Mr. Spencer.

My sincere condolences to all those afflicted by the needless and avoidable violence that -wickedly- plagues New Mexico.

Anita McGinnis

Knife? Ax? Scissors? Bomb? Bow & Arrow? Or for the frail- - fist and/or boot.

Stefanie Beninato

Oh, come on, Dan. There are no riders because the schedule is for the benefit of ABQ commuters, many of whom are probably still working remotely. And it has never been the express it was touted to be--it takes an inordinately long time to get to ABQ. What was amazing was there were at least 15 patrol cars blocking off the entire block for over an hour==that has to be about half the officers on duty. commuters a

Richard Reinders

That is because they didn’t have anything else to do, it takes a murder to get them to show up.

Dan Frazier

Well, this should really help with ridership on the RailRunner. It is rare to see any kind of security presence at the station. No security, no cameras -- no wonder there are no riders.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Mr. Frazier, I've rode the RailRunner on several occasions in the past - all the way to Belen. Personally, I found the staff -including security- extremely courteous.

Be sure, with very rare exception, nothing good ever happens in or around government buildings.

Khal Spencer

These are not crime prone areas. I ride my bicycle through the Zia station and there are usually people just sitting in the station for whatever reason but no one has had an incident that I know of. Just being hit by cars, I suppose. Ride through the South Capital station a lot too and there is typically no one there. This sounds like an isolated incident that happened to have occurred there. Why we don't know. But this stuff occasionally happens in Santa Fe and I don't think singling out the station makes any sense until we know who, what, and why? In other words, motive and if the location was just accidental.

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