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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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thricedisplaced January 14 2014 at 7:18 PM

This is why we need a little control and a LOT of education on gun use. Second Amendment, fine, but this is ******* ridiculous.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
D.CLEMENTS thricedisplaced January 14 2014 at 7:23 PM

★★★★
And exactly with specifics what new knee jerk law do you profess is inorder and why?

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1 reply
Richard D.CLEMENTS January 14 2014 at 7:30 PM

Repeal of the 2nd Amendment for one.

Flag 0 rate up
BOB MONTMORAN January 14 2014 at 5:59 PM

we live in a country that allow mental pt. to live on the street. so even if we were able to detect possible people who are potential threats, until they do some thing, they are protected by the law to live as they please. Laws have to change to force people that are threats to keep weapons from them and treatment manditory

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
D.CLEMENTS BOB MONTMORAN January 14 2014 at 6:13 PM

★★★★
So Bob... The children killed in a Pakistani School a few days ago by an American Drone Strike was carried out by the "Mentally Ill"?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
patricia January 14 2014 at 5:55 PM

Most likely caused by someone bulling the other one.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
steven January 14 2014 at 5:25 PM

I think it is time for metal detectors. One time cost, and you don't have to pay for benefits for the machine or pensions for it either.

And while we are at it, how about we put a little common sense in schools too, like corporal punishment and allowing parents to be held accountable for their "little darlings" actions?

Flag Reply +13 rate up
3 replies
tdeblaey January 14 2014 at 5:16 PM

What sort of society have we become, that we kill our children? Where are the mental health dollars to help people before they go mad? Why is it we can spend $4000 to watch a bunch of millionaire play a game, but we cannot provide adequate care, food, and housing for the least among us?

If we stop the violence, we solve the inappropriate use of guns as well. Think those violent videos we brought our kids up on don't have an effect? E-marketing estimates $171 billion has been spent on advertising in 2013. Why? Because people are influenced by what they watch. Period.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
tdeblaey January 14 2014 at 5:16 PM

What sort of society have we become, that we kill our children? Where are the mental health dollars to help people before they go mad? Why is it we can spend $4000 to watch a bunch of millionaire play a game, but we cannot provide adequate care, food, and housing for the least among us?

If we stop the violence, we solve the inappropriate use of guns as well. Think those violent videos we brought our kids up on don't have an effect? E-marketing estimates $171 billion has been spent on advertising in 2013. Why? Because people are influenced by what they watch. Period.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jijjhnsn January 14 2014 at 5:08 PM

Incredible that a kid can get hold of or even own a gun but adult like me can't.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Hajjy Jawdat January 14 2014 at 5:06 PM

We live in a sick society, you are not safe anywhere you go, get use to it, not even while taking a dump.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
mturksma Hajjy Jawdat January 14 2014 at 5:14 PM

I bring my gun in the bathroom.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
bobtrhn mturksma January 14 2014 at 5:20 PM

Good one. We may all need to soon.

Flag 0 rate up
steelebook mturksma January 14 2014 at 6:45 PM

Be careful now you don't shoot something off. . .

Flag 0 rate up
mproviderone January 14 2014 at 5:06 PM

if every stabbing was put on here there would be no room left for shootings. don't want you to know that.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
steelebook mproviderone January 14 2014 at 6:48 PM

Say again. . .

Flag Reply 0 rate up
arenadood January 14 2014 at 5:03 PM

We need more information for this story.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
D.CLEMENTS arenadood January 14 2014 at 5:06 PM

You need to change that logo, I almost cussed you out as a FBI Agent or D.O.J. Agent

Flag Reply +2 rate up
aol~~ 1209600

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