A woman who said her car was stolen after a Saturday afternoon shooting at a Cerrillos Road motel recounted the harrowing incident Tuesday, saying she and her son were confronted at gunpoint and “lost everything” with the vehicle.

The woman, who asked not to be identified out of concern for her safety, said her car was taken moments after a 59-year-old man was shot at the GreenTree Inn at 3695 Cerrillos Road.

The man, who has not been identified, remained in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital Tuesday. Police have not made an arrest in the attack.

The woman and her 29-year-old son, who has a traumatic brain injury, were in the process of checking out of the motel to move into an apartment in Santa Fe. She said they had spent all of May sleeping in different hotels in the area, waiting for housing to become available.

She said she was talking with the manager of the motel upstairs early Saturday afternoon as her son brought the last load of belongings to their car, a 2001 silver Buick sedan. She said the vehicle, license plate AKTL45, contained nearly all of her and her son’s belongings, including more than $1,500 intended for a rental deposit, birth certificates and clothing.

Suddenly, she said, there were two pops. Gunshots.

The woman said she rushed downstairs to her son, and the assailant was holding a handgun to the back of his head.

She said she and the suspect fought over the car keys strewn around her neck on a lanyard. She said the assailant pointed the gun at her. She let go of the keys, and the suspect took off in her car as a bystander attempted to intervene.

“At that point, we realized there was someone laying in the parking lot who had been shot,” she said. “I was trying to call the police, but I was just too shaky and too disoriented, I guess.”

The woman said she and her son are staying in town, relying on friends for rides, food and donations. She said she cleans houses in the area.

Her other son, who works, is trying to help secure housing.

“Right now, we’re just kind of in the wind, waiting for whatever money comes in from the little bit of work we got this week, you know,” she said.

Almost all of her belongings are in the Buick.

“Our whole world was in that car, everything we had was in that car. Honestly, I hope the guy, he must need help,” she said. “I hope he gets the help that he needs.

“Taking that car took our life away,” she added.

Meanwhile, Santa Fe’s professional baseball team, the Fuego, have been using the GreenTree as the unofficial team motel since the start of preseason training camp on May 24.

Fuego manager Bill Rogan said he had an unsigned player from Houston in town over the weekend but that player, whom Rogan would not identify nor give any details about, arrived Saturday afternoon hoping to secure a room at the GreenTree before working out with the Fuego later that day at Fort Marcy Ballpark.

Rogan said the player had his vehicle in the motel’s parking lot when the shooting occurred. Rogan said the shooting took place, “right next to the guy’s car,” and that at least two of his players were witnesses to the events that led into the shooting. He would not identify either player and did not offer additional details, saying he felt it was a “non-story.”

The player from Houston was not officially part of the Fuego roster and was invited to Santa Fe to try out for a spot in time for this week’s season opener. The Fuego open their season Wednesday night in Roswell.

Rogan said the player was eventually able to remove his car from the motel parking lot and able to report to practice at Fort Marcy. Rogan said the player encountered a number of what he said were “homeless people” who, according to Rogan, left hypodermic needles laying out in the open.

“He just packed his [expletive] and went home,” Rogan said of the player. “That’s another guy we have to replace.”

Rogan said a number of players had stayed at the GreenTree before settling into billeting situations made available through a host family program established between the team and its fans. Since the team’s inception in 2012, players and coaches have relied on volunteer families allowing them to stay rent-free for the duration of the two-month Pecos League season.

As of Tuesday, Rogan said only he and two active players still had rooms at the GreenTree. Everyone else had been assigned billeting situations or found alternative lodging.

(12) comments

mark Coble

A continuing solution is more "restorative justice" and no jail time. Also keep lowering educational standards. Right? Oh, and defund the police, of course.

Andrew Lucero

The current state of the Green Tree Inn is EXACTLY what the Santa Fe Suites is going to be turned into...

Donald Apodaca

I don't believe so. Santa Fe Suites is run by St. Elizibeths Shelter. No one gets in without a background check and credit report. Edward Archuleta is doing everything right at this newly aquired property.

Donald Apodaca

We have a serious problem going on at the Green Tree Inn. The FED's need to come in and put a DEA and or FBI agent in one of the rooms 24/7. This motel is a heaven for drug distribution and prostitution. The locals (SFPD) don't have the desire to expose the real problem in the City Different. I know, because I used to stay there when I visited Santa Fe. The weekly rates are one of the best in town. Now, I advise folks to stay away from this CRIME infested motel.

Mary Little

The victim was my father in law. He was taken off life support yesterday afternoon. He was shot because the shooter was having an argument with someone and pulled out a gun. Shot and missed. My father in law pulled out his phone to record and said I'm calling the cops. He was murdered for trying to do the right thing. They caught the shooter and he has confessed. Hopefully they found the van as well.

Nicole Panter Dailey

How can we help this woman and her son? Is there a go fund me I can contribute to?

Dan Frazier

There is a good chance that the stolen vehicle will eventually be found. It may even happen that most of the belongings will still be in it. Anybody with any sense who shoots someone and then steals a car knows they need to dump the car as soon as they can if they don't want to get caught. I think the hotel should be closed or be taken over by the City.

Maria Bautista

The City pays the motel to provide rooms. Webber's idea. Comes under Housing First, but program has failed. Idea, if someone has a home, everything else will fall in place. Except they put druggies, rapists, killes, mixed in with families and children. This is why Santa Feans need housing!

Richard Reinders

Close the motel

David Gunter

Perhaps the motel owner should sue the city for the fact that there are only about 8 cops on duty during any given shift and they'd rather use their time piled up behind one another off Henry Lynch Rd looking for speeders instead of doing safety patrols.

Richard Reinders

This is about the tenth incident at this place what ever they are doing it is attracting this type.

Maria Bautista

Webber pays for them to have housing, out of sight, out of mind.

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