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12-year-old boy opens fire at New Mexico school; 2 wounded

Suspect Apprehended After Shots Fired In New Mexico

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) -- A 12-year-old New Mexico boy drew a shotgun from a band-instrument case and shot and wounded two classmates at his middle school Tuesday morning before a teacher talked him into dropping the weapon and he was taken into custody, officials and witnesses said.

Gov. Susana Martinez says a boy was critically injured and a girl was in serious condition following the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell.

The students were in the gym, where she said they typically hang out before classes start during cold and inclement weather. The 12-year-old pulled a shotgun and opened fire there at about 8 a.m.

But he was "quickly stopped by one staff member who walked right up to him and asked him to set down the firearm, which he did," Martinez said.

Officials at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, say an 11-year-old boy was flown there in critical condition and a 13-year-old girl was en route in serious condition. Information from nurses treating the boy indicates he was the shooter's target, hospital spokesman Eric Finley said. There was some confusion about the boy's age, but Finley said his parents told the hospital he is 11.

The governor says a staff member received very minor injuries but declined medical care because he wanted to stay and help.

Odiee Carranza, an eighth grader at Berrendo, said she was walking to the school gym when the suspect bumped into her as he rushed past. She told him to be careful, and he apologized and continued on. The boy ran to the gym, where he pulled a gun out of a band instrument case and fired at the students.

"Then he shot up in the sky, then dropped the gun, and then some teacher grabbed the kid that had the gun," Carranza said.

Carranza described the shooter as a "smart kid and a nice kid."

A statement from the state police said authorities responded at 8:11 a.m. Roswell police say the school was placed on lockdown, and the suspected shooter was arrested. His name was not released.

Police said children were bused to a nearby mall, where parents could pick up them up.

"I'm still scared to go back to school," Carranza said.

Another student, Gabby Vasquez, said the boy who was shot "was really nice, got along with everybody." Hospital officials said Tuesday afternoon that the 11-year-old had undergone surgery but was still in critical condition.

Employees who arrived early to work at United Drilling Inc., across the street from the school, heard no gunshots. They didn't know about the commotion until around 8 a.m., when their parking lot filled with police and rescue vehicles.

At the Roswell mall, parents waited anxiously for their children. Some held hands, while others hugged each other.

Two prayer services were scheduled for Tuesday night at Roswell's Calvary Baptist and First Baptist churches. Pastor Chris Mullennix said parents were worried and heartbroken, but there was a sense among many he spoke with that the community would be able to come together.

"This is something that strikes people to the core," he said in an interview. "We're not talking about a flesh wound or just a mental wound. We're talking about the very souls of people being shaken and rocked by something like this."

Mullennix said the prayer services will start the healing process.

"This is tragic but yet people in Roswell are tough, and people in Roswell will recover because we do have a sense of community, and I think that's really important," he said.

In the hours after the shooting, social media sites were flooded with sentiments offering prayers for the community. Some Berrendo students posted on their Facebook sites that they were frightened and didn't want to return to school.

At a briefing later in the day, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president was aware of the shooting.

"Our understanding is this is not an active shooter situation," Carney said. "The president's team is monitoring the situation and is in close touch with our federal partners."

Roswell has a population of about 50,000. It is a center for ranching and farming, and is home to the New Mexico Military Institute, the only state-supported military college in the West. The city is perhaps best-known as the site of an alleged UFO crash in 1947.

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baroquenmetal January 15 2014 at 12:40 PM

Wow, what a terrible situation when a 12 year old can geyt hold of a loaded gun. What I find scary is that he was clever enough to hide the weapon in a band instrument case. I certainly think his parents were remiss, but part of the blame also has to go to Hollywood. Too many gangster movies, do they think kids won't get ideas from them? Maybe this kid wanted to gather a group of classmates around him so he could yell, ''Say hello to my leetle friend!''
It would almost be funny if there weren't two children in the hospital in, respectively, serious and critical condition. Parents, wake up. Your rights as gun owners do not supercede the rights of your children to be safe.

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Paul FIQUET January 15 2014 at 10:23 AM

Loss of jobs created by Reagan and Clinton trade agreements with foreign cheap labor has resulted in the mother having to work as well as the father so there is nobody left at home to raise the kids. what a sorry contribution they..Reagan and Clinton have left for this country.

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art January 15 2014 at 5:40 AM

heard he was on his way to a movie after school .just might be someone texting there. if you have a gun shoot it.

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studyeveryissue January 15 2014 at 5:06 AM

When is the school system going to do something about bullying that works?

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leteric12 January 15 2014 at 5:01 AM

hey shitty parents how about you watch your kids more take away games that they shouldnt be playing gta 5 cod battlefield anything with assault weapons take them the **** away that where most your crazy ass children get these ideas

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art January 15 2014 at 5:36 AM

crazy a-- country

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Tom Marty January 15 2014 at 4:50 AM

Shot guns or semi-automatics either one can kill a person dead. Your comments below about parents being responsible to keep the weapons out of reach, but another thing that you all don't see is that the child took something out of the house he wasn't supposed to! Who's fault is that? I can tell you! It is the public peoples fault that tell the parents they can't discipline their children the way some need to be diciplined, or they will go to jail and have their kids taken away because they paddle their ASS when they are mean or they instill fear of a harsh punishment when they SASS back or don't do what they are told. A lot of the kids in today's world think they can get away with murder and as you can see that is what is happening! I was brought up to fear my father only if I did something I new I shouldn't and the only way he could instill the fear was a good ASS WHUPING if I did something I knew I shouldn't. I think that I turned out pretty good and I thank my father and mother for that and I love both of them dearly!!! Back then the government or state didn't tell them how to raise their kids. They only watched to see that a child wasn't really abused (black and blue marks or broken bones), that is ABUSE!!!!!! The laws today help children growup misbehaving.All the kid has to do is threaten to call social services when the parent tries to make them do something. Do you know who social services will believe??? I Do!!!

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dean January 15 2014 at 6:44 AM

I think you hit the nail right on the head! Bravo!!

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Sue January 15 2014 at 8:17 AM

I agree. There is a huge difference between a spanking and a beating. Kids today think that they are entitled to have whatever they want when they want it whether they have earned it or not. With all the TV programs showcasing smart mouthed and smart a**ed kids- watch the Disney shows for pre-teens and young teens sometime- Kids are taught it's a 'cool' way to be.

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James Rushton January 15 2014 at 4:26 AM

how do you get a freaking SHOTGUN in school!!!!!!!!!

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Sharon January 15 2014 at 4:48 AM

As stated in the article, the weapon was inside a band instrument case.

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ahallk January 15 2014 at 4:22 AM

Such a sad day, to many violent games these kids watch and play on you tube, and access to guns is the worst crime parents should be arrested for not keeping guns in locked safe so these children don't get them in hand with ammunition!

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Tom Marty January 15 2014 at 4:18 AM

My prayers to all family's involved in Roswell, NM!!!

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drb107 January 15 2014 at 3:44 AM

IT'S not the guns fault, its the parents of this child who left thier guns accessible to a child, the same thing happened in the Connecticut shooting. Parents should be held responsible fot not locking up their guns and serve prison terms and be denied access to ever own a gun or ever have one in their possession. Also, if a parent has a child with mental issues then they should have to persuade a judge to let them have firearms on their premises unless they a completely locked away from the child completely.

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bob3443 January 15 2014 at 4:33 AM

You are absolutely correct. In virtually every instance these kids were able to get their hands on unsecured guns and ammo. Having just one national law that states the obvious is all that is necessary. i.e. ALL GUNS AND AMMO ARE TO BE LOCKED UP AT ALL TIMES. ANY WEAPON USED IN A CRIME WHEREIN THE SECURITY OF SAID WEAPON WAS BREACHED WILL RESULT IN THE OWNER BEING SENTENCED WITH MAJOR PRISON TIME, HAVE WEAPONS CONFISCATED AND BE FINED A SUBSTANTIAL SUM OF MONEY.

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Rich January 15 2014 at 8:58 AM

So you're a fan of trying to legislate responsibility. It still won't prevent a gun owner from thumbing his nose at the law and keeping then unsecured anyway and a kid getting them. All it does is spread the blame around.
PS. I am a responsible gun owner, who's firearms and ammo are either locked up in a safe or on my person at all times. And I have no kids in the house.

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fentex5 January 15 2014 at 10:33 AM

It is becoming more and more apparent that state and local laws about guns and ammunition are not adequate, or not being sufficiently applied and enforced. We are in great need of comprehensive weapons laws with stringent application and enforcement. So what if the gun nuts and extreme wrong wingers pitch their fits? Let them try to secede. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Some news reports on this latest shooting in New Mexico say that a "sawed off" shot gun was brought in to the school in a band instrument case. Was this a legally downsized shotgun barrel? Who is the owner of this shot gun? Was it securely locked up so that the boy shouldn't have had easy access to it? The media frenzy over bullying is a lot of hyperbole being sold as reality. Bullying is, indeed, bad. But, is bullying something brand new? It went on back in the "dark ages" when I went to school. However, our country was not infested with the counter culture of gunsanity bck then. Bullying rarely resulted in serious injuries or death. I remember handling bullies by having the gift of being able to use words that would cause them total humiliation and ostracism by our schoolmates. I also earned some great laughs at the expense of the bullies. Our son was one of the shortest kids in his grade back in the mid 1980's. He was being bullied by one particular kid. After a while, my son hauled off, and slugged the much larger boy in the mouth. His parents phoned us to demand that we pay for the repair of his expensive dental braces. I told them to try suing the parents of a bullying victim who finally had enough crap from their son. We never heard back from them. Our son almost lost a finger from blood poisoning from the bully's saliva to his cut knuckle. The little guy (fifth grade) earned enormous respect from schoolmates. He also grew to average height in a couple years after this incident.

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