State Police investigate shooting on California Street 
On Nov.1, Socorro residents woke up to the sight of a major crime scene on South California street after reports of a shoot-out that occurred late Tuesday night involving an altercation between multiple people at the Circle K gas station.
According to a Facebook post that morning by Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker, five suspects were being sought in relation to the incident.
“It’s sad to see gun violence,” Mayor Ravi Bhasker told the EDC that morning.
At 9:30 a.m. the area was congested with crime investigators including the state crime scene unit. State troopers had blocked off the south exit ramp in Socorro with much of their attention focused on an open-doored SUV in the middle of South California near the Tractor Supply store.
An uprooted street light pole’s base was seen about 100 feet from its original location and windshield glass covered the area on California Street.
Socorro Rallies for local teen paralyzed in accident. 
The community rallied around Jacob Montoya, an 18-year-old Socorro man after his serious one-car accident that left him without feeling or movement below his waist in August.
Montoya was driving toward the Bosque Del Apache Refuge on Highway 1, July 24 around 9:30 p.m., when his vehicle left the road, according to his mother, Nicole. The cause of the accident is unknown, but photos of the truck posted on Facebook show extensive damage on all four sides.
Montoya suffered severe spinal cord injuries and was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque where he had surgery to repair and stabilize his spine. His mother said that he had spent time in the ICU and was hoping to get into a spinal rehab center in Colorado.
Montoya, a 2023 graduate of Socorro High School, had just started a job on the fire brigade at the Very Large Array.
Guerro Family loses home 
Manuel Guerro, recently recognized as Socorro County employee of the year, lost his house in a fire, leaving his family without any of their belongings in November. They did not have homeowners’ insurance.
The county started a fundraiser for their employee and his family and requested help from the community. The county accepted clothing, household items and monetary donations on his behalf.A GoFundMe was set up by a family member.
Socorro man victim in Red River shootout 
A shootout at Red River’s 41st annual Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally left three dead including 46-year-old Damian Breaux of Socorro, and five others injured.
New Mexico State Police Chief, Tim Johnson, said the shootout stemmed from an earlier altercation in Albuquerque between rival biker gangs, the Waterdogs and the Bandidos.
Of those killed, Breaux and 26-year-old Anthony Silva of Los Lunas were believed to have been members of the Bandidos and 46-year-old Randy Sanchez a member of the Waterdogs.
According to Johnson, three people were facing charges including Jacob Castillo, 30, of Rio Rancho, believed to be a member of the Waterdogs, with an open count of murder. Matthew Charles Jackson, 39, of Austin, Texas of the Bandidos with a count of unlawful carrying of a firearm inside a liquor establishment, and 41-year-old suspected Bandido member Christopher Garcia, also of Texas, was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession.
Castillo and Garcia were among five people injured during the shooting, Johnson said.
New mural depicts famous UFO sighting 
In April San Miguel Pottery Landowner Joe Torres hired artist B.J Lesperance to add a new mural of Socorro police officer Lonnie Zamora, who reportedly saw a UFO in 1964, to add to his effort to attract more tourists who are interested in aliens.
Torres said that he frequently has visitors stop by and take photos with his alien statues and he makes sure to share the story of Zamora. He envisions a whole alien themed festival that could commemorate the story and bring people to Socorro. Torres said he believed Socorro’s UFO story is much more compelling than Roswell’s 1947 ‘flying saucer’ report and could similarly draw out-of-state tourists.
On April 24, 1964, Socorro police officer Lonnie Zamora reported seeing an unidentified flying object. The sighting was subsequently reported by El Defensor Chieftain and investigated by U.S. Air Force Project Blue Book personnel.
I-25 crash claims Arizona woman 
On Sunday, May 21, at around 11 a.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash involving two vehicles on Interstate 25, north of Lemitar.
The initial investigation indicated that a 2007 Jeep SUV, was traveling southbound on Interstate 25. A 2015 Nissan passenger vehicle was driving behind the Jeep.
It was believed that the Nissan rear-ended the Jeep, causing the Jeep to roll over. Patricia Despain, 73, of Holbrook, Arizona, a passenger in the Jeep, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
The driver of the Jeep and the driver of the Nissan were both transported to an area hospital. Alcohol was not a factor, and seatbelts appeared to be properly utilized in this crash.
Socorro mayoral race begins 
Juan JC Trujillo, a former Socorro School Board member and Positive Outcomes CFO, kicked off the election season with his announcement to run for mayor.
“It is a time for ideas and innovation and a new generation,” Trujillo said.
He said that the biggest issue he sees in the city is consistent economic decline, something he thinks the city could address with a division dedicated to development and innovation, focused on making job training available and building partnerships between the city, the county, the schools and New Mexico Tech.
“We have a lack of opportunity for youth all the way up through older working adults,” he said.
Trujillo said he would focus on affordable housing, find funding for a substance abuse treatment facility, and would encourage a tough on crime attitude in law enforcement.
“I believe our officers want to do a good job, but we need to invest in them,” he said. “We need to invest in officer incentives.”
Peaceful day in Socorro for biker funeral 
An estimated 400 Bandido motorcycle club members arrived in town celebrating the life of Damian Breaux on June 10. Breaux was one of three killed in May at Red River’s 41st annual Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally in Red River.
State, county and local law enforcement had been planning for the day for almost two weeks and their presence was visible. Socorro County Sheriff Lee Armijo confirmed that his department, the Socorro Police Department and the New Mexico State Police had been meeting to discuss plans.
On June 7, Mayor Ravi Bhasker posted on his Facebook page about the upcoming event with a “large group from out of town.”
Bhasker said, “Being respectful to the family for the loss of one (of) our own citizens is important to remember for all those who live in our city. That is what we will be asking from the visitors. There will be large presence of law enforcement in town just for that purpose.”
State police investigate fatal crash outside of Magdalena 
One person was killed in a fatal crash outside of Magdalena in February.
New Mexico State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Highway 60 at mile marker 103 around 11 a.m. on Feb. 5.
The initial investigation indicated that a 2001 Ford truck, driven by a 65-year-old man, was driving West on US 60 around mile marker 103. The truck hit a patch of ice and slid off the roadway and crashed. The passenger, 86-year-old Basil Cox of Magdalena, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
The driver of the truck was not injured and was wearing his seatbelt. Cox was not wearing his seatbelt. Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in this crash, according to an NMSP press release.
Storey’s storied story comes to an end in Socorro 
Jarrod Storey’s resignation on June 21 ended months of speculation as to whether or not he might again assume the added role of girls’ basketball coach after a miraculous ending to the 2022-23 basketball season.
The end of Lady Warrior’s season last year was straight out of Hollywood as coach Bill Bailey resigned citing “personal issues” and leaving Socorro at 3-17 without experienced guidance heading into District 3-3A play.
 Rather than throw lead assistant coach Brittany McDaniel to the wolves, Storey stepped in and, along with assistant coach Brisa Garcia started the biggest turnaround in New Mexico girls’ basketball.
 Storey stepped into the role seamlessly, and when Socorro banged out a 61-45 road win against Hatch Valley to open league play, district coaches took notice. The Lady Warriors’ season ended in the state tournament against eventual state champion Tohatchi.