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Man shot in face at Rail Runner stop at NM 599

Santa Fe police are investigating the second shooting at a Rail Runner Express train stop in the span of a week.. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Law enforcement officials said a 73-year-old man was shot in the face during a carjacking Monday morning at the Rail Runner Express commuter train station on N.M. 599 – the second shooting at a Santa Fe train stop in a week.

The victim was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where he was in critical condition Monday, Santa Fe Police Capt. Anthony Tapia said.

Officers responded to the train station on the south side of the city shortly before 9 a.m. and were told the victim’s vehicle had been stolen, according to police.

Tapia said Monday afternoon the suspect was still at large.

The vehicle, a black 2020 Chrysler 300 sedan, was later located in Albuquerque, after police received a tip.

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios said the victim approached a sheriff’s deputy who was parked nearby doing paperwork along NM 599, but the actual shooting occurred at the Rail Runner station within city limits.

The deputy called for an ambulance and was told by the victim that he had been shot in the face and someone stole his car, Rios said.

It was the second recent shooting at a Rail Runner station in Santa Fe. Last Monday, a man was killed and another man was critically injured at the South Capitol Rail Runner stop near downtown.

Matthew Arrellano, 22, was arrested and charged with the killing of David Hernandez during what witnesses said was a drug deal that went sideways.

Augusta Meyers, communications manager for Rio Metro Regional Transit, said Rail Runner Express is looking into additional security at the train stations because of the shootings.

“Last week’s shooting was seriously the first-ever in 15 years of running service,” she said of the Rail Runner, which started operations in 2006. “Last week’s incident was such an isolated incident, it didn’t really make us think like, ‘Oh, we need to add a bunch more security.’ ”

Now, with the most recent shooting, Meyers said the transit system is revisiting those discussions.

Operations Manager Robert Gonzales said there has also been talk of putting a Santa Fe police Mobile Video Trailer at the train stops. He noted security guards already ride the trains.

Monday’s incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Santa Fe police at 505-955-5265 or 505-427-3710.