Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Man arrested after SWAT standoff at Santa Fe apartments | Local News

Police arrested a Santa Fe man Tuesday afternoon after a tense, hour-long argument with SWAT officers at an apartment complex in the Hopewell Mann neighborhood.

Officials arrived at the Las Palomas Apartments to serve an arrest warrant issued in November against Randall Lopez, who was armed and himself barricaded in an apartment in Building E of the complex, the police said.

Lopez, 32, was a suspect in a January murder in Santa Fe before charges against him were dropped.

In late October, Lopez was accused of assaulting and robbing a man who had gone to an apartment in the Las Palomas complex to buy drugs. The warrant was issued for kidnapping, armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated assault with a lethal weapon and two-fold aggravated assault with a lethal weapon, court records show.

The victim told police as he walked into the apartment Lopez hit him in the back of the head with a flashlight, put a bag over his head and tied his hands together, and gave the man the responsibility for the arrest of Lopez’s sister on an affidavit.

After the police arrived on Tuesday afternoon to deliver the warrant, crisis negotiators were called in to bring Lopez out of the apartment peacefully.

Witnesses said they heard police commands over a loudspeaker telling Lopez to come out and informing him that the apartment was surrounded. SWAT members were seen approaching the door to deliver unidentified items.

“I only came to drop off my client and when I showed up there were cops everywhere,” said Eric Archuleta, a caretaker for one of the residents of the apartment, who was arriving at the beginning of the incident. “That was just so crazy for everyone.”

After nearly two hours of negotiations, SWAT team members fired a canister of tear gas into the apartment, Lt. David Webb of the Santa Fe Police Department. Moments later, Lopez appeared, coughing, hands up.

He was taken into custody and taken to a local hospital for medical release for detention, Webb said.

In March, Santa Fe Police charged Lopez with the first degree murder in the January 8th shooting of Frank Pete, an Arizona man, at the Las Palomas Apartments. Two witnesses identified Lopez as a suspected attacker at the time, the police said. The charges were dismissed later in May for lack of cooperation from witnesses, court records show.

Lopez has a criminal history that goes back more than 10 years. According to court records, there were charges of shoplifting, theft and grievous bodily harm.

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