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.