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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.

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Catherine January 18 2014 at 4:35 PM

It does'nt matter what type of gun it was YThe kid shouldn't have a had it in the first place.

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Frank January 16 2014 at 12:36 AM

22 gauge??? He probably had a 45mm pistol too...

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rayperry4 January 16 2014 at 12:01 AM

Credibility of writers is important. A 22 gauge shotgun? HA! The only such I EVER saw in many years as a shotgun collector and purveyor was a positively ANCIENT home made black powder matchlock which probably has not been shootable since the American Revolution. They weren't called 'shotguns' in those days. They were usually called 'fowling pieces'.

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eddy017 January 15 2014 at 11:58 PM

everyone misses something important. a good family LOVE GOD, respect for authorities. wake up america. we are all hightech for nothing !

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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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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 to grtsch6134's comment
lgvxl42 January 15 2014 at 11:30 PM

they still do. its called bird shot.

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abcstarfox 2013 January 15 2014 at 10:59 PM

Judging from the large number of posts..........apparently, the only thing important to all
you gun people, is the gauge number and and or calibur....not the attack or the crime.

Talk about justification.....

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2 replies to abcstarfox 2013's comment
veloci1 January 15 2014 at 11:07 PM

No, what's important is the knowledge of the writer. This one has shown him/herself to be pretty stupid.

That reflects on the rest of the contents of the article.

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mbczis January 15 2014 at 11:56 PM

No...what is important is that we have another tragic event involving children!

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Terry Hahn January 15 2014 at 11:15 PM

Read between the lines here. There is an underlying cause. Adults and children are both being affected.

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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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aaldrew January 15 2014 at 10:05 PM


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rednecknb January 15 2014 at 9:40 PM

"22-gauge sawed-off shotgun" i find that hard to believe. so what it a 22 rifle or a 2o gauge shot gun? if the dont know the difference im sure they have no idea what a sawed off shot gun is. it is terrible that children died but if the liberal news media lies about what kind of gun it is how can you believe anything they say. TO BAD THERE WAS ONE TEACHER STANDING NEAR BY WITH A CONCEALED HAND GUN. WOULD HAVE BEEN LESS PEOPLE HURT. AND MAYBE IT WOULDNT HAPPEN AGIN.....

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aaldrew January 15 2014 at 10:06 PM

That 22 gauge has the 20 gauge beat all to hell. Much bigger and more dangerous. LOL

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grtsch6134 January 15 2014 at 11:10 PM

.......nope. a 22 gauge shotgun, if it existed--would be smaller.

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tomwa007 January 15 2014 at 8:03 PM

Wouldn't a liberal want guns and a conservative not want guns? USA has more guns per capita for every one .. babies even ( .83) guns per person than any other place and more people behind bars. Lots of guns don't solve anything. Mr Rugar, are you reading this ?

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