A former candidate for the state legislature was arrested Monday for allegedly orchestrating the shootings at the homes of local Democratic officials.
Authorities already had planned to highlight the attacks — then came word of yet another shooting with a political target.
The lengthy pattern of violence — which began not long after Muhammad Syed arrived in the U.S. in 2016 — has shocked members of Albuquerque's small, close-knit Muslim community.
Businesses were closed and people skipped prayer services after the shooting deaths of four Muslim men, three of them in the past two weeks. Now, the fear has given way to confusion over a motive.
The 51-year-old Afghan immigrant denied any connection to the deaths that shook the city and its small Muslim community. Bullet casings found at crime scenes were linked to a gun found at his home.
A man was charged with killing two Muslim men and is suspected of killing two others in Albuquerque, N.M. The killings sparked fear in Muslim communities nationwide.
"There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason," police spokesman says of the attacks, which left two people critically injured.
Who was Juan de Oñate? Critics object to statues of the Spanish conquistador, the first European to colonize New Mexico and a despot who inflicted misery on Native Americans.
Armed militias have become a feature at anti-quarantine protests, racial justice marches and monument removals. But after a shooting in Albuquerque, locals say militias are disturbing the peace.