A 12-year-old boy shot a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy at about 7:30 a.m. today at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell. The injured students were airlifted to a Lubbock, Texas hospital.
News reports indicate that the girl has been upgraded to serious condition but the boy, who was shot in the face, remains critical.
At a press conference this afternoon, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kasseta said the seventh grader opened fire with a shotgun on a group of students in the gymnasium before school started. A staff member also suffered minor injuries when he stopped the suspect. The 12-year-old shooter is in state police custody.
Gov. Susana Martinez announced that the shooter was quickly stopped by a staff member who walked right up to him and asked him to set down the firearm, which he did, she said. The entire incident lasted about 10 seconds. Adults held the boy until police arrived at around 8:11 a.m., and took him into custody. His name has not release and officers are speaking with his parents.
A prayer vigil will be held at Roswell Convention Center at 6 p.m. today and a press conference is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. at the Roswell Civic Center.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement on the shooting:
“This morning’s tragic shooting in Roswell has shaken a community and forever impacted the lives of the students, parents, and teachers who experienced this senseless violence. Around New Mexico, our hearts are heavy as we keep in our prayers the two young children who were shot. I thank the school’s staff and law enforcement for acting swiftly to ensure the safety of others at the school. During this difficult time for the entire Roswell community, my thoughts are with all those who have endured this terrible tragedy.”