Police responded to desperate 911 calls when gunfire erupted on Main Street in the scenic resort town of Red River.
On Saturday at about 5 p.m., gunshots were fired at the 2023 Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety said in a news release.
They arrived to find two people dead at the scene and another six injured.
All of the individuals involved in the shootout were members of two rival outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Bandidos and the Waterdogs, the New Mexico State Police said.
They were attending the Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally, an event that draws tens of thousands of bikers to the to small town nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Five of the injured were treated at local hospitals, while a sixth was airlifted to a hospital in Denver, Colorado.
One of the people hospitalized in New Mexico was later pronounced dead from their injuries.
The three victims killed were identified as Anthony Luna, 26, Damian Breaux, 46, and Randy Sanchez, 46.
All eight people were identified as members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs).
‘OMGs are highly structured criminal organizations whose members engage in criminal activities such as violent crime, weapons trafficking, and drug trafficking,’ according to the Department of Justice.
Three bikers, two of which were among the five people injured, currently face charges related to the shootout.
Jacob David Castillo, 30, faces an open charge of murder for the shootout. He will be booked at the Taos County Detention Center after he is released from the hospital, police said.
Matthew Charles Jackson, 39, was charged with possession of a firearm inside a liquor store, and Christopher Garcia, 41, was charged with possession of cocaine.
The investigation into the shootout is ongoing, State Police said in a press release on Sunday.
The deadly shootout has rocked the small town of Red River, home to only 477 people.
‘It’s very tragic,’ Red River Mayor Linda Calhoun said. ‘It’s the first time we’ve ever had anything like this.’
Most of the businesses on Main Street were closed on Sunday while investigators combed over a large crime scene.
Red River has hosted an annual motorcycle rally since 1981.
The Taos County website said they expected about 20,000 bikers to attend this year’s event, which promised ‘five outrageous days of fun.’