Recently filed court records detail how a shooting played out between two motorcycle clubs in Red River last weekend — leaving three of the men dead and five others injured.
Jacob Castillo, 30, a member of the Waterdogs Motorcycle Club, was charged Thursday with an open count of murder in the May 27 death of 46-year-old Damian Breaux, a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.
Jacob Castillo (Courtesy of New Mexico State Police)
New Mexico State Police say cellphone video showed Castillo exchange gunfire with Breaux on the main drag of Red River. Castillo told police Breaux fired at him first and he shot back in self-defense.
The shooting — which made national headlines and all but ended future Memorial Day motorcycle rallies in the town — also left Bandidos member Anthony Silva, 26, and Waterdogs member Randy Sanchez, 46, dead.
It is unclear from court documents who shot Silva, Sanchez or the five men who were injured, including Castillo and Bandidos member Christopher Garcia, 41.
Castillo is reportedly still recovering from at least one gunshot wound at University of New Mexico Hospital.
Garcia and Matthew Jackson, 39, reportedly a Bandidos chapter president, are facing drug and gun charges in the incident. Nobody else has been charged in the incident.
State Police responded around 5:15 p.m. to reports of multiple people shot at the 41st annual Red River Motorcycle Rally, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Taos County Magistrate Court. Officers found two men dead at the scene and six more who had been shot.
One of those men died sometime later.
Police said the others were taken to Holy Cross Medical Center in Taos before some, including Castillo, were airlifted to other hospitals. A man identified as M.L., who was a member of the Waterdogs, told police the fight stemmed from an incident a year ago.
He said he had gone to a wedding and “apparently took a picture with some Mongols,” another outlaw motorcycle club who are enemies of the Bandidos, according to the affidavit. The man told police there was a prior confrontation in Albuquerque with the Bandidos over the photo but “there was only words exchanged.”
Things escalated on the main street of Red River over Memorial Day weekend.
M.L. told police he, Sanchez, Castillo and other Waterdogs were walking with their families when they stopped at a shirt stand, according to the affidavit. The man said they tried to avoid some Bandidos, due to the previous issues, but one Bandido said “what the (expletive)” and punched M.L.’s friend.
Police said M.L. told them a fight broke out and soon he heard gunshots and got their wives and a newborn child to safety. He said three Bandidos shot at them and at least one Waterdog fired a gun as well.
Detectives discovered through interviews that Castillo was the “main shooter,” according to the affidavit. A woman’s cellphone video showed a man in a green poncho – identified as Castillo – pointing a gun at multiple men on the ground as he ran for a Jeep.
Police said one of the men on the ground, identified as Breaux, sat up and “appeared to shoot at” Castillo, who then fired back. The video was reportedly a brief one and didn’t show when the shooting began.
Castillo told police from his hospital bed that the Waterdogs are not affiliated with any other motorcycle clubs, according to the affidavit. He said when the group was walking down main street he recognized Breaux, who “took a double look at him.”
Police said Castillo told them Breaux rushed him and punched him and the two began fighting on the ground. He said another Bandido was hitting him in the back of the head when he heard gunshots.
Castillo told police when he got up Breaux pulled out a gun and shot at him, striking him in the shoulder, according to the affidavit. Castillo said he pulled out a gun and fired back at Breaux but didn’t know if he hit him.
Police said Castillo told them he fired a second shot into the air “to scare” Breaux and he ran away. Castillo’s statements, according to police, corroborated what was seen on the cellphone video.