State police: Suspects in Chamita shooting arrested

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Victoria Traxler, The Santa Fe New Mexican
·2 min read
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Apr. 7—New Mexico State Police announced Wednesday they arrested Andrew Valdez and his son Mario Valdez earlier this week on a slew of counts in a deadly shooting at their Rio Arriba County home.

The pair were booked into the Santa Fe County jail Monday, state police said in a news release.

Andrew Valdez was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, while his son is facing a count of first-degree murder and a dozen other charges.

An arrest warrant affidavit indicated the agency had filed charges against Mario Valdez in the March 11 incident in Chamita that killed an Española man and left three others wounded. But the document said state police were still uncertain of his whereabouts as well as his father's.

The agency did not respond to questions about the case Tuesday.

In the news release issued Wednesday, state police said six people were driving around in a Chevrolet Tahoe when two of them wanted to visit Andrew Valdez, who lives at 89 Rio Arriba County Road 56 in Chamita, to buy methamphetamine from him. An argument erupted between the two people in the Tahoe and Andrew Valdez after they entered the house, the statement said. It alleges Valdez assaulted them with a knife.

They ran back to the SUV and tried to leave but quickly came under fire from Mario Valdez, who also lives on the property, the statement said.

The son blinded the group with a flashlight before firing at them with a rifle, the news release stated.

The Tahoe drove through a fence as the group tried to escape and came to a stop at an adjacent property. The survivors began to flee on foot. They told police they were followed by Mario Valdez and Andrew Valdez in two separate cars before the suspects abandoned the scene.