A woman suspected in a downtown shooting was arrested and an armed man believed to be her accomplice was fatally shot by a Santa Fe police officer late Wednesday morning as he was fleeing on foot down a section of Old Santa Fe Trail filled with tourists.
The pair of shootings led to lockdowns of nearby buildings, including the First Judicial District Courthouse and the state Capitol, as a safety measure.
Law enforcement agencies also shut down stretches of downtown streets surrounding the Inn and Spa at Loretto, where the suspect’s body lay motionless as police conducted an investigation.
New Mexico State Police is investigating the shooting by the Santa Fe officer. Neither the officer nor the slain suspect has been publicly identified.
City officials said in a news release the incident began just after 10 a.m. at De Vargas Park, where 20-year-old Kalin Addison is accused of shooting another woman before handing the gun to a man, who fired at the victim before fleeing.
Deputy Chief Paul Joye said two women had begun arguing in the park, and Addison joined the escalating fray. She later told police she had fired the gun at one of the women, he said.
Addison was still at the park when officers arrived, Joye added, and witnesses identified her as the shooter.
Addison is facing a charge of attempted murder and counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.
Santa Fe police provided aid to the woman wounded in the shooting, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and then began pursuing the man who fled, the city said in the news release.
“A short time later, the armed suspect was located by officers searching the area. Officers engaged with and shot the suspect. The suspect is deceased,” the statement said. “Officers and bystanders were unharmed.”
Witnesses reported seeing the armed man heading down East Alameda Street before turning left on Old Santa Fe Trail toward East Water Street, just two blocks from the downtown Plaza.
He died on a sidewalk in front of the Loretto Chapel.
State police said in a news release officers rendered aid to the man until emergency medical responders arrived. However, the man was pronounced dead at the scene by the state Office of the Medical Investigator.
Throngs of visitors, tourists and residents were out roaming the downtown area during the incident. People also were eating at outdoor cafes and restaurants, shopping and sitting in parks.
Kaori Fukushima, 55, a resident of Houston vacationing in Santa Fe this week, said she was leaving the Inn and Spa at Loretto when she saw the man with a firearm running down Old Santa Fe Trail.
She stepped back into a corridor and hid behind a wall, where she heard police yell, “Stop!”
“And then I heard the gunshots,” she said. “Maybe three or four.”
Sascha Anderson of the District Attorney’s Office released a statement from District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies on Wednesday saying the agency “pledges full transparency in our handling of officer involved shootings, which is critical for ensuring public trust in the justice system.
“While we encourage and await the results of a full investigation, the preliminary reports appear to show that the suspect had a gun and that officers were in danger,” the statement continued.
Carmack-Altwies added that the first shooting in the downtown area Wednesday reportedly occurred near her agency’s offices. “We are heartened to report that all in our office are safe,” she said.
Barry Massey, a spokesman for the state Administrative Office of the Courts, said the lockdown at the district courthouse prompted by the shooting lasted less than an hour and briefly interrupted a jury trial.
“Following what their standard procedure is for lockdowns, the jury was moved to a deliberation room,” Massey said. “The judges and court staff go to their offices and then other people in the building remain in place wherever they are in the building.”
While New Mexico ranks high among states for its rate of fatal law enforcement shootings, incidents involving Santa Fe police officers are uncommon. The last two fatal shootings occurred within weeks of each other four years ago.
Andrew James Lucero, 28, was killed in May 2017 in a driveway near Eldorado as Santa Fe officers were trying to subdue him following a pursuit of a stolen Mercedes-Benz. Police said after a scuffle, Lucero got inside a patrol vehicle, which began to move forward and pinned an officer to a tree.
The officer fell and suffered a leg injury but then got off the ground and fired a fatal shot.
In July of that year, officers with a Santa Fe police SWAT team killed 24-year-old Anthony Benavidez after an hourslong standoff. Benavidez, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, had been evicted from an apartment due to unpaid rent and later broke into the unit and refused to leave.
He remained barricaded inside during the SWAT operation until officers smashed a window of the apartment unit and fired 17 shots at him.
One officer said he opened fire through the window because Benavidez was wielding a knife.