A 12 year old New Mexico student opened fire at his Roswell area school, wounding two students. One of the students has been critically wounded, and the suspect has been taken into custody following the shooting at Berrendo Middle School.
The shooting was quickly brought to a halt thanks to a quick-thinking teacher who went up to the suspect and convinced him to set the firearm down. A police lieutenant who happened to be dropping off his child at the school helped in securing the suspect. The Roswell Police Department said the school was in lockdown mode immediately following the incident.
While earlier reports said that the two students sent to hospital were 13 and 14, their ages are actually 11 and 13. They were flown to University Medical Center in Lubbock, TX, some 150 miles away because the facility has a level 1 trauma center. The 11 year old victim, a boy, was shot in the face and flown to University Medical Center in critical condition while the 13 year old, a girl, was in serious condition.
The boy appears to have been the 12 year old New Mexico student suspect’s target in the incident, and was hit in the face when the suspect pulled a shotgun out of a band instrument case and opened fire. Hospital spokesman Eric Finley said there was initially confusion about the young victim’s age, but the parents reported the boy’s age as 11. He underwent surgery but still remains in critical condition.
The 12 year old New Mexico student who opened fire at the Roswell area school bumped into a student as he was rushing to the gym. Seconds later, gunfire erupted. Police arrived 11 minutes after the shooting started and quickly put the school into lockdown. Students were taken by bus to a nearby mall where parents were told they could pick them up.
Some parents heard about the shooting over the radio and immediately leapt into action to determine if their children were safe. Fawna Hendricks, the parent of a seventh grader at Berrendo Middle School, said while she was directed to pick up her boy at Roswell Mall, her son’s teacher allowed him to call her. She said that her son was scared, as were his classmates.
Gun control has been a hot button topic for some time, particularly since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Most of President Barack Obama’s proposed gun control legislation was soundly defeated by Congress, but there are new proposals being put forward in order to help clarify gun ownership regulations for the mentally ill and to improve a database dedicated to firearms background checks.
Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Tom Burris said Berrendo Middle School will be kept closed on Wednesday, January 15, but plans are being put into action to reopen the school on Thursday.
Many students have hit social media and admitted that the thought of returning to school scares them. There are two prayer services scheduled for this evening, with one of them being planned to take place at the Roswell Convention Center.
The 12 year old New Mexico student who opened fire at the Roswell area school hasn’t been identified or even described by authorities.
By Christina St-Jean