One protester was shot while a crowd attempted to pull down a statue of conquistador Juan de Oñate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 15, local media reported.
Protesters had gathered in protest near the statue at Tiguex Park while the armed militia group, New Mexico Civil Guard, watched on, according to reports.
These videos, filmed by Megan Abundis, show a group of men wearing military-style vests and holding guns in a scuffle with protesters. Later footage shows a group attempting to bring down the statue before four gunshot-like sounds ring out.
Following the incident, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced the statue would be removed due to the public safety risk. Albuquerque police said they will be investigating reports that a “vigilante group” instigated violence during the protest.
Anti-racism protests across the United States had recently targeted statues of historical figures linked to colonialism, slavery and racial violence. Juan de Oñate is associated with the 1599 Acoma Massacre, which led to the deaths of hundreds of native people from the now-New Mexico region. Credit: Megan Abundis via Storyful