Santa Fe police identified a man killed in an early morning shooting Monday, and 12 hours later they apprehended a suspect in a separate shooting that put area schools and businesses in lockdown.
Investigators had not determined whether the incidents are connected, Santa Fe police Deputy Chief Paul Joye said, though a late-evening news release said the investigation is ongoing as police work through “numerous crime scenes” caused by the suspect in the second shooting.
Police said Joseph Aiello, 39, was killed early Monday in the 2700 block of Alamosa Drive, according to a news release. Lt. David Webb said Aiello had been shot in the head.
Police responded to the scene around 1:48 a.m., and crime scene tape could be seen around the home at 2728 Alamosa Drive hours after the incident.
A woman at the home said in an interview she had been at the residence at the time of the shooting. She and some friends were in a back room and heard gunshots. When she came out, the woman said, she saw Aiello lying on the floor in a hallway bleeding from a gunshot wound to his head.
The woman said several people at the home fled while she and her boyfriend called for an ambulance.
The woman, who declined to be identified, added she knew Aiello as a kind man who was always willing to help others.
She said she and her boyfriend later saw a man they believed to be the shooter walking around downtown.
Investigators believe the suspect and the victim knew each other, according to the news release.
About 12 hours later, another shooting — this one near Owl’s Liquor at St. Francis Drive and Hickox Street — resulted in the lockdowns of Santa Fe Indian School, the Early Learning Center at Kaune and several nearby businesses as law enforcement searched for suspects.
Police said the male shooting victim was transported to a local hospital and later to University of New Mexico Hospital. His condition was not immediately known.
Santa Fe police identified Jay Wagers, 25, as the man apprehended by Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies after the shooting. Charges against him were not immediately available.
Police said Wagers is suspected of fleeing with two others following the shooting. Wager left foot as the other suspects likely fled in a vehicle.
Investigators believe Wagers also attempted to steal a vehicle near the intersection of Cerrillos Road and Baca Street.
“It is believed that the suspect attempted to forcibly steal the victim’s vehicle, and subsequently shot the vehicle as the victim fled the area,” according to a news release from Santa Fe police.
The incident drew a response from several law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff’s office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and New Mexico State Police. Officers gathered at Santa Fe Indian School and conducted a sweep of the campus.
The sheriff’s office took Wagers into custody at the Indian School, where was found hiding in a car in the parking lot, armed with a knife and a handgun, according to a news release.
Police limited access to the area for hours, into the early evening.
Santa Fe Indian School Superintendent Christie Abeyta said in a statement Monday the school is “grateful” for the response from local law enforcement.
“Within a matter of minutes, city, county, state, and tribal law enforcement were on campus and arrested the suspect without incident,” she said. “We are so blessed to be part of the Santa Fe community.”
Wagers has a history of violent crime in Santa Fe, including convictions of battery upon a peace officer, possession of narcotics and motor vehicle theft.
In 2019, he was involved in an incident in a home — also on Alamosa Drive — in which he was accused of attacking a man in his home and assaulting two police officers.
Police were searching for the two other suspects, one wearing a blue jersey and black pants. The second suspect was wearing gray sweatpants, a Raiders hat and a black shirt. But Joye said Wagers was believed to be the only person involved in the shooting.