“They said they were going to kill me,” said Peter Komis during a telephone interview from his hospital room. After Komis was shot at least once, he said, “One guy told the other guy, ‘Just shoot him’ and the guy came back and shot me again.”
Komis, 52, was hit at least twice, once in the buttocks and once near the spine in the Sept. 30 incident on Don Gaspar Avenue in the South Capitol neighborhood. He believes he may have been struck with a third bullet. Komis remains in stable condition and said he will be in the hospital “as long as it takes.”
“They were wearing this Rambo gear with skeletal faces,” said Komis. “They were in ‘Battle Boy’ gear like the video game.”
He described the masks worn by the three or four assailants “as almost but not quite like ski masks” with “something on the masks to look like harrowing, skeletal characters.” The men spoke with “a normal Santa Fe accent,” Komis said.
He said he was returning about 10:30 p.m. from downtown where a property he owns was being remodeled. When he turned onto Don Gaspar, a one-way street for southbound traffic near the state Roundhouse, there was a white car with tinted windows going the wrong way.
Komis said he yelled, “Wrong way,” but can’t remember if his window was open. He passed the car and could see in his rear-view mirror that it had no license plate.
He pulled into his driveway through automatic gates and into his garage about 60 feet down the drive. As he walked toward his kitchen door and before the gates closed, “I see four guys in front of my gate … three or four approached me and one guy called my (first) name,” said Komis. “I said, ‘Can I help you? Stop right there, don’t come any closer.’ ” He said two men had guns he believed to be automatic or semiautomatic weapons.
“They told me they were going to kill me,” Komis said. “They told me to get on my knees. They hit me in the side of the head with one of the automatic weapons.” That caused part of the gun, possibly a spring, to pop off. “I was bleeding,” he continued. “I was going into shock and they shot me in the behind and they shot me near the spine.”
The spine wound caused a lot of injury, Komis said.
The men demanded his house keys and he told them the keys were in the car. ” ‘You are lying to me,’ ” Komis recalled one of the assailants saying.
At this point, he said, he was yelling for help.
“I’ve been shot. They tried to get into the house and my wife opened the door. I yelled in Greek to my wife to call 911, I’ve been shot.”
Komis, who was born and raised in Santa Fe and is of Greek heritage, said he spoke in Greek so the men would not know what he was saying.
The men tried to push the kitchen door open, Komis said. One of the men shot once through the door, but they were having trouble with the door and “they took off,” he said. His wife was not injured.
No idea about shooters
Asked who he thought might be responsible, given that the assailants knew his name, Komis said he didn’t know. Any past disputes he’s had with anyone would be described as “minor,” Komis said.
From him, the gunmen took money, car keys and an iPhone. “I think they wanted to rob my house,” he said.
Jewelry was stolen from his home in a May burglary, but police have said they don’t think the break-in is connected to the shooting. Komis said his home has video surveillance cameras and recordings have been turned over to Santa Fe police.
Police had no new information to release on the incident on Monday, a police spokeswoman said.
Komis owns Komis Enterprises LLC, which operates and leases commercial buildings in Santa Fe and is officially located at the Komis home address. He is president of the Don Gaspar Neighborhood Association. He ran for City Council in the 1990s and in 2013 briefly also put his name forth as a candidate.
In 2009, Komis got a $12,000 settlement from the city after former Santa Fe police Sgt. Steve Altonji allegedly filed a false report about him with the State Police following a confrontation outside a bar and then Komis filed his own report with the Santa Fe police. But Komis told the Journal at the time he was “an avid supporter” of the SFPD.
Komis said Monday that many well-wishers have called him since last week’s shooting. “I have gotten calls from all over the world – from Sweden, from Greece and Australia,” he said. “People are mortified and horrified about what happened.”
Komis is the primary care provider for his 92-year-old mother and on Monday was more concerned about her condition than his. “This has taken a toll on her,” he said.
“I hope they catch these guys,” he said.