A relative of a young woman suspected in a series of drive-by shootings Thursday told a Santa Fe County magistrate the woman is not expected to survive an accidental drug overdose.
In a letter, the relative pleaded with the judge to allow the woman’s jailed sister, who also is suspected in the shootings, to visit her in intensive care.
Brianna Romero, 20, was one of three people arrested on numerous felony charges after they were accused of shooting at several vehicles and buildings, resulting in lockdowns at three schools, according to Santa Fe police. Her sister Davonne Romero, 23, also was arrested.
Brianna Romero suffered the overdose after hiding a bag of pills in a body cavity, police said in a criminal complaint.
According to the complaint and the relative’s letter, she initially was treated at Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center and later was released by medical professionals.
Sometime after she was booked into the Santa Fe County jail. However, she was returned to the hospital. She remained in an intensive care unit Friday.
The family member asked a judge to permit the temporary release of Davonne Romero so she could visit her sister; jail records show she was released around 12:10 p.m. Friday.
Santa Fe police Deputy Chief Paul Joye said the department was unable to comment on Brianna Romero’s medical condition.
The criminal complaint, filed Friday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, alleged Brianna and Davonne Romero, as well as 16-year-old Elijah Gallegos, traveled around in a white Nissan sedan firing shots Thursday morning. The shootings resulted in lockdowns at Capital High School, César Chávez Elementary School and Nina Otero Community School.
No one was hurt, but several cars and buildings were damaged.
Officers saw the Nissan on Airport Road, stopped it in a mobile home park and then arrested the trio, the criminal complaint said. Officers found an assault rifle and a military-style tactical vest in the trunk.
Gallegos told officers the driver, Brianna Romero, had picked him up at the mobile home park that morning and denied knowing anything about the shootings, according to the complaint. He was wearing a ski mask at the time.
Davonne Romero told police her sister had picked her up for breakfast and she fell asleep in the vehicle.
Two Capital High students told police the sedan had tailgated them and tried to pass them several times on Airport Road while they were driving to school, the complaint states. The driver told police he didn’t allow the car to pass because they were in a no-passing zone.
The pair told police they heard several gunshots, and one of the students said he saw someone firing shots out of the sedan’s rear windows, according to the complaint.
The vehicle stopped following them when they arrived at school, and they reported what had occurred, the complaint states.
A woman told police she was at Vista Linda Apartments off Paseo del Sol where stray gunfire hit her vehicle and a white sedan “raced by.” She took video of the car as it turned east on Jaguar Drive. Police received reports that several apartments near 8600 Jaguar Drive were hit by gunfire.
Gallegos was charged with 12 felony counts including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at or from a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. He was in a San Juan County juvenile detention facility Friday, and the District Attorney’s Office plans to file a petition against him, spokeswoman Sascha Anderson said.
Davonne Romero was charged with the same 12 counts, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Brianna Romero faces the same charges as her sister, with additional counts of possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence.
The drive-by is one of several recent shootings in Santa Fe, police records show. A drive-by shooting on Riverside Drive left a car riddled with bullet holes Sept. 25. On Sept. 24, a man was shot in the foot at a Motel 6 after refusing to hand over his wallet. In mid-September, 18-year-old Angelo Hernandez was arrested in connection with a Sept. 8 drive-by shooting at Riverside Loop.