Officials: Boy Opens Fire in School Gym; 2 Injured

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Photo Credit: KRQE via CNN

(CNN) — A 12-year-old boy entered his middle school gym, pulled a shotgun out of a bag and opened fire on students waiting for school to begin Tuesday, wounding two of them, said authorities in Roswell, New Mexico.

A boy, 12, was in critical condition, and a girl, 13, was in serious condition in a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, said New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

A staff member at Berrendo Middle School disarmed the student after he “walked right up to him and asked him to put down the firearm,” Martinez said.

Another school staff member received “very minor injuries” in the shooting and declined medical treatment so that he could continue to care for the pupils in the gym, the governor said.

“We have a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old who were shot while simply sitting in their gym waiting to go to class, and one of them is in surgery,” Martinez said at a press conference. “I’m asking that all New Mexicans, please, keep these two children in your prayers.”

Authorities have in custody the lone student who’s “responsible for this,” said State Police Chief Pete Kassetas. The student who police say fired the shotgun is a seventh-grader, he said.

Investigators didn’t yet have a motive for the shooting, Kassetas added.

Students had gathered in the gym to stay out of the cold weather before classrooms opened, the governor said.

A New Mexico state police lieutenant happened to be dropping off his child at the school when the principal saw him as she was locking the door during the shooting, Martinez said. She asked the lieutenant to assist, and he helped secure the scene, she said.

Said Chief Kassetas: “I commend the principal and the people that work at this school for saving many more lives.”

State police were interviewing more than 100 students and faculty Tuesday. “We’re going to be here for quite some time,” the police chief told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators will examine “social media outlets and the forms of communication that students use,” Kassetas said.

The state Department of Public Safety said in a news release that state and local police were called to the school at 8:11 a.m.

State Police public information officer Emmanuel Gutierrez said children were bused from the school after the threat had been “alleviated.”

Police said the school was placed on lockdown after the shooting.

A vigil was scheduled at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center for Tuesday evening; classes at Berrendo were canceled for Wednesday, when counselors will be made available to the community, officials said.

“Today is the day that no superintendent wants to go through,” Roswell Superintendent Tom Burris said. “This couldn’t happen. It’s unbelievable it could.”

20 comments

  • Kim

    ALLOW TEACHERS TO BE ARMED. School is the one place where firearms are prohibited and every shooter knows that and has known that ahead of time. I know it sounds crazy but lets fight fire with fire. I was totally against it at first but then when I thought about it, it makes sense. A shooter wouldn’t EVER go to a police station and shoot police officers. Why? He knows he will get shot immediately. Metal detectors and police officers won’t cut it. It costs too much money to purchase these things and pay someone to man the detectors. School funding in Ohio was one of the first things cut in 2013. Think about it. The sign prohibiting firearms is on every door. Lets put signs up that say “BEWARE, FIREARMS WILL BE USED IN THIS BUILDING IF NECESSARY”. What shooter wants to get shot immediately? They want to do damage. I don’t know but nothing else has worked in the US. Teachers would have to be highly trained by the police and own a concealed carry license. Not every teacher would be trained but once that word gets out, I have a feeling, this gun violence in schools may decrease drastically. There is a school somewhere in Ohio that is piloting this right now, why not try it.

      • Jamie from Brunswick

        That’s what my fear is. I have 3 children and have thought about how to better protect our children during the school hours. I feel our government needs to put cameras in every school across our nation, and hire military men and women to stand guard at every school. The schools need to use a limited number of entrance ways.

    • Mamabonz

      Most of the kids that do this don’t care if they die. They are seriously troubled. Some of them even go on to kill themselves immediately after they’ve “done damage”. If we had armed teachers would it have been ok for them to draw their weapon on this disturbed 7th grade child & potentially fatally injure him? I’m not sure that’s the answer. Mind you, I”m not saying it isn’t either. It is one thing to defend & protect yourself & others against an adult, but what about a child? I don’t know, but something certainly needs to be done.

    • Brian

      The issue is RESPONSE TIME!!!

      Arming teachers is the most logical answer because there would be no waiting for “first responder’s” and SWAT to arrive.

      In the minutes that pass waiting for police to arrive that gunman could have killed dozens (Sandyhook).

      Let’s face it… the first respondwers do not enter upon arrival.. they secure the perimeter, and call in SWAT and “command”.
      Meaning.. NO ONE other than teachers is in that building with the gunman for quite some time!

      We trust the teachers to educate our children!
      We trust the educators to keep our children safe in their presence every day at school already.
      I sincerely don’t beliebe that there are teachers out there waiting to get the OK to carry a concealed weapon just so they can shoot up their own classroom.

      This was exact sentiment when Sandyhook too place last year.

      A R M
      T H E
      T E A C H E R S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John Sokol

    Definitely the teachers need armed. There simply is no other answer. Whether the shooter is another child or an adult makes no difference once they put a gun in they’re hand and begin shooting teachers and children. The only thing that matters is response time and stopping them as quickly as possible. Armed teachers is the quickest and most cost effective way. I garuntee every school has at least one teacher who already has a CCW. They only need to be allowed to carry it. I’m sure other teachers may make the decision to get one and carry on they’re own. The situation in New Mexico was handled by the teachers better than a SWAT team, they knew the boy and felt he could be talked down and they were right. A SWAT team would have shot no matter what. If the teachers were armed, one could attempt to talk down while another is ready to shoot if need be. They know the kids better than the police, and they are there much quicker and if armed could stop many more deaths from occurring. All of this costs the taxpayers or school systems nothing. It only makes sense. When will people get off the no gun zone kick and realize there’s no getting rid of them so do what we have to to protect people. Forget politically correct, that’s not saving lives it’s putting more at risk.

  • tanisha

    Def kim. I couldnt understand blt cant talk or write. Just curious if the child was bullied that would answer my questions.

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