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3 dead in gang-related shooting at New Mexico biker rally

 May 29, 2023

Tragedy struck on Saturday at the annual biker rally in Red River, New Mexico, when an alleged gang-related shooting left three people dead and five injured.

The violent altercation occurred during the 41st annual Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally, an event celebrated by bikers nationwide,  the Daily Wire reported.

The rally is now marred by bloodshed, causing shock and sadness throughout the community.

Linda Calhoun, the Republican mayor of Red River, commented on the situation, stating that the perpetrators, according to her, were members of biker gangs.

She did not disclose the alleged affiliations of these individuals. However, she assured that everyone involved is now in police custody.

Rare Instance of Violence at the Annual Rally

Violence of this nature is reportedly a rare occurrence at these events. According to State Police Chief Tim Johnson, the shooting began with a "confrontation of some sort" between motorcycle gangs, KOAT reported.

The incident occurred around 5:00 p.m., casting a shadow over the rally that drew up to 28,000 bikers from various walks of life, the New York Post reported.

Calhoun praised the local law enforcement for their swift response. The first officer arrived on the scene within 30 seconds of the call. "Our law enforcement was incredible," she said. "It's the first time we've ever had anything like this. We do have accidents; we have had deaths before, but nothing like this."

Local Medical Facilities Respond to the Crisis

Medical services were quickly activated in response to the crisis. One of the injured was immediately airlifted to a hospital in Denver. Local medical centers providing treatment to the victims were directed to "secure" their premises as law enforcement arrived to ensure safety and order.

For those caught in the middle of the rally, this shooting presented a scene of chaos and distress. Red River, approximately 170 miles north of Albuquerque near the Colorado state line, is a small mountain town that typically does not witness this scale of violence.

Repercussions in the Surrounding Area

The shock waves of the incident reached beyond the Red River. About 40 miles from the incident, the nearby city of Taos implemented an emergency curfew from 10 p.m. on Saturday until 4:00 a.m. Sunday.

The curfew included a ban on alcohol sales as a measure to maintain order and ensure public safety.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting the New Mexico State Police in the investigation. Authorities have indicated that the evidence collection process is ongoing, and all involved parties are in custody.

Impact on Local Businesses and the Event

The incident had significant effects on the local economy as well. Town officials asked businesses to remain closed on Sunday while the investigation continued. This measure underscores the gravity of the situation and its impact on the small mountain town.

The event, which had started on Thursday and was scheduled to continue through Monday, was halted. A post on Facebook late Saturday night announced that no one would be allowed near the crime scene, which includes most of Main Street, a key location for the rally.

A Tragic History

This is not the first time the event has witnessed tragic incidents, albeit not this violent nature. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that the rally in 2019 was the scene of a deadly motorcycle collision, which claimed two lives and injured five others.

The previous year, a man died when he crashed his motorcycle in Red River while attempting to evade law enforcement. However, the scale of Saturday's violence is unprecedented in the rally's history.