A La Madera, New Mexico man, Damian Herrara, 21, allegedly shot three family members, killing two of them outright, and later allegedly killed two other people, in a shooting spree spanning almost 200 miles, before he was finally arrested by the police. One of the shooting victims was his mother, who was earlier, in many media reports, claimed as one of the suspect’s victims, because she was taken off of life support. She has since then died, becoming her son’s fifth victim.
The New York Post reported that on Friday that authorities in New Mexico said Herrara was “captured after a chase and a crash.” On Thursday, June 15, he allegedly first shot his mother, Maria Rosita Gallegos, 49; younger brother, Brendon Herrera, 20; and stepfather, Max Trujillo Sr., 55, at their residence in La Madera, which is “in Rio Arriba County,” according to the Washington Post.
The Daily Mail reported that Herrara and his stepfather had argued over the use of his father’s pickup truck, outside the family’s residence. Herrara allegedly shot and killed his stepfather, first, outside the house, then went inside and shot his brother in the neck and his mother in the head as she was “pleading for her life.” Gallegos died later in the day, at a hospital, after she was taken off of a life support machine.
Police said Herrara then fled the scene, and he obtained a truck after he drove to the community of Tres Piedras, by carjacking the vehicle and killing the driver, Michael Kyte, 61. After Herrara ran out of gas in Tres Piedras, New Mexico, Kyte picked him up and offered to help. That was when Herrara stole Kyte’s truck and shot and killed him.
Hours later, Herrara stopped at Bode’s General Store located in Abiquiu, a town that the famous artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, had lived in “for most of her life.” Herrara allegedly shot and killed the final victim of his shooting spree there, Manuel Serrano, 59, of Youngsville, Ohio. According to KCRA Sacramento, Serrano was a “security guard at O’Keeffe’s home,” and a regular at the store.
Serrano was killed almost five hours after the police received their first 911 call about Herrara’s family being allegedly slain by the suspect. After he allegedly killed Serrano, Herrara was spotted by sheriff’s deputies in the stolen pickup truck and the officers gave chase. The suspect tried to avoid an oncoming police vehicle and ran off the road, crashing into a tree.
Herrara got out of the vehicle and ran towards the officers. He tried to steal one of the officer’s guns, and it went off. A different deputy shot Herrara with his stun gun and then they were able to take the suspect into custody.
In New Mexico, Damian Herrara, 21, allegedly went on a shooting spree on Thursday, killing five people, including three of his own family members. New Mexico District Attorney Marco Serna said his office will request that the suspect be charged with five counts of murder. Serrano is currently being held in jail without bond. Other than having a couple of traffic citations in 2015 and one in 2017, Herrara does not have a previous criminal record.
By John Samuels
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