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Student of New Mexico shooting: 'Blood everywhere'

Suspect Apprehended After Shots Fired In New Mexico

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - It was supposed to be like any other day.

Students escaping New Mexico's chilly temperatures congregated in the Berrendo Middle School gym before class started. Then, 13-year-old students Evan James and Kayla Koren, standing on opposite sides of the gym, heard a loud pop.

When they looked up, they saw blood and a fellow student on the floor, the victim of a gunshot wound to the face. A 12-year-old classmate holding a 22-gauge sawed-off shotgun stood nearby.

"I just saw blood everywhere," Essance Sosa, 12, said Tuesday. "Everyone started screaming and running."

Witnesses say that for the next 10 seconds or so, panic engulfed the gym and, eventually, the entire Roswell school Tuesday. Word began to spread that a student had opened fire, injuring a male and female student. Those who could, quickly texted parents and friends, and worried family members began frantically calling the school.

An 11-year-old boy was critically injured and a 13-year-old girl was in stable condition.

Officials credit John Masterson, an eighth-grade social studies teacher, with saving lives as he immediately stepped in and talked the boy into dropping his weapon. Masterson then held him until authorities arrived.

"He stood there and allowed the gun to be pointed right at him," Gov. Susana Martinez told a packed room of 1,500 or so people at a prayer vigil late Tuesday, "so there would be no more young kids hurt."

Officials also credit previous "active shooter" drills by Roswell Independent School District for preparing teachers and students, who say they were ready for what happened Tuesday morning. Students say they even thought the shooting was a surprise drill at first.

"I thought it was a drill. I really did," James said. "Then, I realized it wasn't."

Investigators still aren't sure why the boy, who has not been named by authorities or formally charged, opened fire. Authorities said the boy sneaked the shotgun onto campus through a bag or musical instrument case.

State Police Chief Pete Kassetas disputed a report from a hospital spokesman who said nurses treating the boy indicated he was the shooter's target. He said a motive still is not known.

"We just don't have a lot of information," Kassetas told reporters late Tuesday.

The suspected shooter was transferred to an Albuquerque psychiatric hospital following a hearing Tuesday, according to attorney Robert Gorence, who is representing his family. Gorence said the family would release a statement Wednesday.

Kassetas said authorities have issued search warrants for the boy's locker, his bag and his parents' home. He said he did not know what had been found by late Tuesday. They're not yet sure where the boy got the gun.

Officials at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, said an 11-year-old boy was flown there in critical condition and a 13-year-old girl arrived in serious condition.

The governor said late Tuesday that the boy underwent a second surgery. She identified the girl as Kendal Sanders, 13, and said her condition was upgraded to stable.

Martinez said the family of the injured boy has asked that his name not be released while he recovers.

During a prayer vigil at the Roswell Convention Center hours after the shooting, an emotional crowd gathered to sing and hug as pastors spoke of healing and forgiveness. Pastors urged residents to pray for the suspected shooter.

"No superintendent ever wants to go through something like this," Roswell Superintendent Tom Burris said. "If you ever do, you want to have a strong community like here in Roswell," which is a center for ranching and farming and has a population of about 50,000.

Before the vigil, an emotional Martinez spoke to students who witnessed the shooting and urged them to talk to counselors and "let it out."

That's what she told James, who listened and nodded.

"We're all in shock," Koren said. "I'm never going to forget what I saw."


Montoya Bryan reported from Albuquerque. Associated Press writer Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, Texas, contributed to this report.

Join the discussion

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lgvxl42 January 15 2014 at 11:29 PM

Geeeeeesh! A 22 ga. s.g.? The next thing you know these kids will be bringing in howitzers. Come on parents! You need to take an interest, here. & By the way who in the heck are these reporters? 22 Ga? is it rim fire?

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Al January 15 2014 at 9:53 PM

There are no good guns. There are no bad guns. Any gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody - except bad people. --- Charleton Heston

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1 reply
aaldrew Al January 15 2014 at 10:05 PM


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remington121187 January 15 2014 at 7:24 PM

it was in roswell maybe he was an alien with a alien gun. this story is sad but get it right with the facts before you report

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grtsch6134 January 15 2014 at 11:09 PM

there are no 22 gauge shotguns.........there are some old time 22 rifles that fire shot, however........

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1 reply
lgvxl42 grtsch6134 January 15 2014 at 11:30 PM

they still do. its called bird shot.

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MaryLou January 15 2014 at 4:52 PM

What has society done to our youth? Thank you Mr. Masterson! You are a true hero-
Are his parents out of work? Is is family poor? Drugs - what is going on with ourt kids? We had guns in our home growing up- they were not locked up- and no way in this world would I ever thought of even touching them. It is called respect for parents and rules.

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DONNA MARIE January 15 2014 at 4:17 PM

The teacher is a hero..Job well done Sir, though I doubt if he was thinking about anything but saving liveS at the time.. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things...That is the definition of a hero..

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Maria January 15 2014 at 4:14 PM

Really...who gives a crap that the Associated Press got the type of firearm wrong in the article. Two kids were shot by another kid. THAT IS WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT. The outrage should be about THAT. Firearms getting into schools by kids. The outrage should be about that. I mean, seriously????

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2 replies
flakey Maria January 15 2014 at 4:41 PM

i cant believe how people get side tract so quickly from the real issue lol

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veloci1 Maria January 15 2014 at 11:14 PM

No one is getting sidetracked. The point of the "22" is, if they can't manage to get this right, how much of the rest of the article is total BS.

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Mr. Mier January 15 2014 at 6:58 PM

With the quality of the reporting here, can we be sure there even was a shooting?

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1 reply
aaldrew Mr. Mier January 15 2014 at 10:09 PM


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bluehawk99 January 15 2014 at 6:35 PM

The teacher, John Masterson, should be highly praised...and decorated...for his actions. Standing with a gun pointed at you is no easy task and almost impossible to keep your wits about you. I know...I'm a former Texas Peace Officer. Mr. Masterson should be awarded the highest civilian award available from the state of New Mexico!!!!!!!!! (any relation to Bat Masterson ?)

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1 reply
abcstarfox bluehawk99 January 15 2014 at 10:17 PM

Good post....thank you. Favd.

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aeriswright800 January 15 2014 at 3:50 PM

why would that boy do that ?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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