Two dead in downtown shooting

BREAKING: Police confirm singer Ernestine Romero is victim

Santa Fe singer Ernestine Romero is one of two people dead in a shooting that happened in a parked car near the intersection of Don Gaspar Avenue and De Vargas Street near downtown.

Santa Fe Police Chief Andrew Padilla said a few hours after the incident that the department doesn't believe any suspects are currently at large, but would not answer questions about whether the shooting was a murder-suicide.

Romero performed under her maiden name. The other deceased person is Jessie Saucedo, a man she married two years ago and whose last name was her legal name.

Romero is an award-winning Santa Fe singer who released nine albums. Her family, friends and music colleagues, including at the New Mexico Hispano Music Association, also posted on Facebook this evening announcing her death, and numerous others commented offering condolences.

It’s is with deep sadness, shock and overwhelming grief that we confirm the passing of our beloved Ernestine Romero Please keep her family in your prayers as we all morn the loss of such a beautiful soul

Posted by Nmhma Espanola on Thursday, July 11, 2019

In a post about her wedding in 2017, Tejano Nation news website reported Romero's birthday as July 10. That would mean she turned 32 yesterday.

Romero was an employee at the Public Education Department and had been a state employee since 2008, according to state spokesman Tripp Stelnicki.

The Apodaca Building at 300 Don Gaspar Ave. was closest to the incident, which Padilla said took place inside or near a parked vehicle. That building was evacuated, and Stelnicki said that grief counseling would be available to the 180 employees who work there. No other buildings were evacuated.

Emergency dispatchers received a call shortly after noon of a gunshot or gunshots. A worker from the nearby Supreme Court said he heard sirens on his way back from lunch.

"Someone called 9-1-1," Padilla said. "They did the right thing and our officers responded on scene."

Police said around 6:30 pm that an investigation remained underway. Crime scene tape stretched across Don Gaspar at Alameda and a crowd had gathered.

Editor's note: This story as been updated throughout the day as information became available.  

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