Another school shooting took place in Roswell, New Mexico today and left two students seriously injured. At least two more were reportedly left with non life threatening injuries. A 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were airlifted to the University Medical Centre in Lubbock, TX. Initial reports indicate the injured boy was shot in the face, was described as critically injured, and is still in surgery at the time of writing. The Berrendo Middle School remains on lockdown as authorities investigate the incident.
The suspect is a fellow student, a 12-year-old seventh grader, who has now been taken into custody. He allegedly had a gun hidden in a school band music case and started an attack as soon as he arrived at the school, the weapon was described as a shotgun. The authorities were informed of the situation at 8:11 and the school was immediately placed on lockdown. However, the incident was already under some control at that time, as a member of staff had intervened.
The School Superintendent said “In the ten seconds that transpired from the time the shooting happened til the teacher had control of that weapon, there was no cowardice.” The staff on the scene immediately challenged the boy and asked him to put down the weapon and the student complied.
The Superintendent added that the school will be closed tomorrow after the shooting, but reopen Thursday, at which point councillors will be made available for the children and staff members who needed that support. It was stated that councillors “will be available 24 hours a day if needed” as people recover from this incident.
There will be some concern over copycat school shootings in New Mexico and the whole of the U.S. over the coming days and weeks.
The first Police Officer on the scene of the school shooting was Gary Smith, who was dropping his own children off at the school when he saw the School Principal locking the doors and recognised that an incident had taken place.
Due to the cold weather at the time students were being allowed to gather in the school gym before the start of class, and it was in the gym that the shooting took place.
The police department stated at a news conference that they are now in contact with the parents of both the shooter and the victims. No names are currently being released as the injured children have extended families and it was taking some time to reach all of the members of those families. Also, crime scene technicians were currently working on several sites to make sure they collected all the evidence that was available, and that they would be interviewing more than a hundred students and staff, and that would take some time.
The Mayor of Roswell, New Mexico said, “We were saddened this morning…as we learned of the injuries, as this (Roswell) is a strong and a great place to live…these (school shooting) incidents happen far too often.”
The alleged shooter was taken into custody shortly afterwards. The children from the school were bussed to a nearby mall after the shooting where they were allowed to meet up with parents.
The Police also stated that active shooter drills had been carried out at the school before this and they were able to act swiftly as a result. They had been preparing for a school shooting in New Mexico before this incident took place.
By Andrew Willig