A man was shot and wounded on Monday during a protest near a museum in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, police said.
Yahoo reports a man was shot Monday night as protesters in New Mexico’s largest city tried to tear down a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador outside the Albuquerque Museum, prompting the city to announce that the statue would be removed until officials determine the next steps.
The man was taken to a hospital and was listed in critical but stable condition late Monday, said Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos.
A confrontation erupted between protesters and a group of armed men who were trying to protect the statue of Juan de Oñate before protesters wrapped a chain around it and began tugging on it while chanting: “Tear it down.” One protester repeatedly swung a pickax at the base of the statue.
Moments later, a few gunshots could be heard down the street and people started yelling that someone had been shot.
Gallegos said police used tear gas and flash bangs to protect the officers who intervened and detained those involved in the shooting. He said they were disarmed and taken into custody for questioning as police worked to secure the scene. He said detectives were investigating with the help of the FBI but he did not immediately release any other information.
“The shooting tonight was a tragic, outrageous and unacceptable act of violence and it has no place in our city,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “Our diverse community will not be deterred by acts meant to divide or silence us. Our hearts go out the victim, his family and witnesses whose lives were needlessly threatened tonight. This sculpture has now become an urgent matter of public safety.”