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The sculpture garden at Albuquerque Museum of Art & History in New Mexico. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The FBI is assisting after one man was shot during a demonstration where protesters were trying to topple a conquistador's statue in New Mexico Monday night, Albuquerque Police Department tweeted.

Details: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham indicated militia were involved in the shooting and police said they were investigating this as a motive. Steven Baca, a 31-year-old former City Council candidate, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for shooting Scott Williams, Reuters reported on Tuesday. It's not clear if the suspect is a militia member.

"We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence. If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution."
— Albuquerque police chief Michael Geier said in a statement

The big picture: Gunshots rang out as people gathered on the street near the Albuquerque Museum for the removal of a statue of Juan de Oñate, a 16th-century Spanish conquistador and colonial governor of the-then province, KOB 4 video shows. The wounded man was in a critical but stable condition, per a police tweet.

  • Police said they deployed chemical irritants and flash bangs after the shooting "to protect officers and detain individuals," who were disarmed and taken into custody.
  • The protest was peaceful until demonstrators "took a pickaxe to the statue and members of the heavily armed New Mexico Civil Guard, a civilian group, tried to protect the monument," the Albuquerque Journal reports.

What they're saying: Grisham said in a statement there was "absolutely no space" for "any violent would-be 'militia' seeking to terrorize New Mexicans" as she vowed the instigators would be "rooted out" and held accountable by law.

  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) called for the Justice Department to investigate the shooting, tweeting Monday night, "This is not the first report of heavily armed civilian militias appearing at protests around New Mexico in recent weeks. These extremists cannot be allowed to silence peaceful protests or inflict violence."
  • Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller condemned the shooting as an "unacceptable act of violence." "In order to contain the public safety risk, the City will be removing the statue until the appropriate civic institutions can determine next steps," he tweeted.

Go deeper: Black Lives Matter protests force countries to confront colonial past

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the arrest.

Go deeper

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

Details: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Updated 26 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Police officers form a line as they face off with demonstrators protesting the death of Daunte Wright outside the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

There were tense scenes in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center Monday night, after demonstrators defied a 7 p.m. curfew to protest for a second night the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: The curfew was announced following a night of protests and unrest over the killing of Wright, 20, during a traffic stop Sunday. Following peaceful protests and a daytime vigil, police again deployed tear gas during clashes with protesters Monday night, according to reporters on the scene.

Japan to release Fukushima water into sea

People near storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 2020. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan's government on Tuesday announced plans to release more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean following a treatment process.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has said Japan appears to have met globally accepted nuclear safety standards, officials in South Korea, China and Taiwan, local residents, those in the fishing industry and green groups oppose the plans, due to begin in about two years, per the Guardian.