Taos shooting victim fights for life as police search for gunman

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 2/8/19

Town and state police investigators continue to look into a shooting in Taos this week that landed a local man in the hospital fighting for his life …

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Taos shooting victim fights for life as police search for gunman

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Town and state police investigators continue to look into a shooting in Taos this week that landed a local man in the hospital fighting for his life.

On Friday (Feb. 8), Mary Chavez, the business manager for The Taos News, traveled with her family to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque to be with her brother, Randy Martinez, who was shot in the head on Wednesday (Feb. 8) at his residence on Gusdorf Place.

Investigators told Chavez that Martinez, 56, was home around 1 p.m. on Wednesday when the shooter knocked on his front door. When Martinez moved a curtain covering a window at the door, Chavez was told, the shooter fired through the glass, striking her brother in the forehead.

Medics rushed Martinez to Holy Cross Hospital in Taos before transferring him by helicopter to Albuquerque.

In the two days since, doctors have told Chavez and her family that Martinez’s skull was “shattered” by the gunshot. They said the 56-year-old has also lost an eye as a result of the shooting.

This evening, medical teams will attempt to remove an intubation tube that has been helping Martinez breathe in order to see if he is capable of doing so on his own.

But while Chavez awaits updates from the hospital, she is also anxious to hear from police regarding any breakthroughs in their investigation. She and her sister have been in constant contact with police, hoping every time they'll receive an answer as to who shot their brother and why.

“There’s still someone out there that’s dangerous,” Chavez said.

Law enforcement arrived at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday within minutes of the call, but the gunman had already fled the area.

Police were, however, able to obtain a description of a suspicious vehicle that had been in the neighborhood during the shooting. Officials have not yet released any information about the vehicle or any suspects they might be looking at.

“We are going to wait on that info because we do not wish to jeopardize the investigation,” said Taos Police Chief David Trujillo.

On Wednesday afternoon, police officers unrolled crime scene tape around Martinez's residence and pulled on rubber gloves to inspect the area in and around the home.

Investigators with the New Mexico State Police Criminal Investigation Team joined them later in the day to help process the crime scene. The flashing red and blue lights from a mobile crime lab vehicle parked outside Martinez's home lit up the neighborhood until around midnight Wednesday night.

Although the crime scene has since been cleared, Trujillo said investigators have been working on the investigation around the clock on leads they've obtained.

“Possible suspects and names of suspects are being considered,” Trujillo said, “It’s a process of elimination.”

Tips can be submitted by calling Taos Police Department or Taos County Crime Stoppers at (575) 758-4258.

shooting, Taos

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