RED RIVER, N.M. (AP) — Three men killed in a weekend shootout at a New Mexico motorcycle rally were members of rival outlaw biker gangs, and the violence stemmed from a previous altercation between them in Albuquerque, authorities said Sunday.
New Mexico State Police said three other bikers are facing charges and two of them were among the five wounded in Saturday’s shooting involving the Bandidos and the Waterdogs in the mountain resort town of Red River.
Those killed were identified as 26-year-old Anthony Silva of Los Lunas, 46-year-old Damian Breaux of Socorro and 46-year-old Randy Sanchez of Albuquerque. Two were declared dead at the scene and the third at a hospital, New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson said in identifying them.
Johnson said 30-year-old Jacob Castillo of Rio Rancho will be charged with an open count of murder when he’s released from a hospital while 39-year-old Matthew Charles Jackson of Austin, Texas, is facing a charge of unlawful carrying of a firearm inside a liquor establishment.
State Police said 41-year-old Christopher Garcia, also of Texas, has been arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession after being treated at a hospital.
Three other men belonging to motorycle gangs were injured in the shootout, but their names haven’t been released yet, authorities said.
“It’s very tragic,” Red River Mayor Linda Calhoun said. ““It’s the first time we’ve ever had anything like this.”
The town’s calendar touted the 41st annual Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally, saying “Get ready for the rumble as 28,000 bikers from all different backgrounds line Main Street for one crazy party.”
Most of Main Street closed to the public on Sunday as part of the State Police’s investigation and law enforcement requested businesses in the area remain closed.
“The shooters have all been apprehended,” Calhoun said. “There is no threat to the community.”
The wounded were transported to hospitals in Denver, Albuquerque and nearby Taos.
“Our law enforcement was incredible. The first State Police officer was there within 30 seconds,” Calhoun said.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina was in Red River on Saturday afternoon, eating dinner and posting online photos of himself and his smiling wife.
Another of his posted pictures showed motorcycles lining the town’s main drag as bikers and others socialized.
Thirty minutes after posting the two photos, Medina said the shootout occurred.
“What a helpless feeling not having a badge, gun or radio as State Police officers and others enter the restaurant and slowly everything closes down and you don’t even know if you can get to your car or if it’s in the scene,” Medina wrote in Twitter. “This wave of gun violence impacts all of New Mexico large or small.”