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Ryan Martinez, 23, the gunman who was seen wearing a red MAGA cap shortly before shooting 42-year-old Jacob Johns (Hopi/Akimel O’odham) will be in court on Friday morning in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico for a preliminary and detention hearing. The shooting happened during a prayer vigil on September 28, 2023.

Martinez is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for shooting Johns.

According to a police report, Martinez opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters who were holding a prayer vigil protesting the installation of a statue honoring Spanish Conquistador Juan De Oñate in Espanola, New Mexico.

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Oñate was a conquistador with a cruel and controversial history that includes killing 300 Acoma women and children, along with 500 warriors, in 1599. After this massacre, Oñate ordered the 24 surviving Acoma warriors to have their right foot chopped off. 

After the shooting, Martinez fled the scene, but was apprehended soon after. He has been in the Rio Arriba County jail since his arrest on September 28, 2023. 

Johns,from Spokane, Washington, was shot in the abdomen and airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital. Since his hospitalization, he has undergone two surgeries. Johns remains in critical condition. 

After his arrest, pro-Trump statements and ant-Biden profanities were discovered on Martinez's Facebook page. Statements also revealed he believes the lies perpetrated by the defeated ex-president. A Facebook post reads: “TRUMP WON.” 

Family members and other Native American supporters want Martinez to be charged with a hate crime, in addition to the first-degree murder charge and aggravated assault charges he currently faces.

"Jacob and the family believe unless the judge leaves the attacker in custody, it will pose a danger to both him [Johns] and the community," Attorney John Day, who represents Jacob and his family, said.

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Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].