Students are reunited with families at a staging ground set
up at the Roswell Mall following the shooting at Berrendo
Middle School. REUTERS/Mark Wilson/Roswell Daily Record
A 12-year-old American boy who drew a shotgun from a
band-instrument case, and shot and wounded two classmates at
his school in New Mexico has been sent to a psychiatric
A boy was critically injured and a girl was in satisfactory
condition following the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in
Roswell on Tuesday morning (local time).
Governor Susana Martinez said the students were in the
gymnasium, where they typically hang out before classes start
during cold and inclement weather. The 12-year-old opened
fire with the shotgun there about 8am before a teacher talked
him into dropping the weapon.
However, he was "quickly stopped by one staff member who
walked right up to him and asked him to set down the firearm,
which he did", Martinez said.
School superintendent Tom Burris said the faculty had
participated in "active shooter" training, and they responded
appropriately on Tuesday.
"In the 10 seconds that transpired from the time of this
thing starting until the teacher had control of the weapon,
there was no cowardice," Burris said. "There was protection
for our kids. Everyone acted and did their duties today at
Berrendo Middle School."
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. Her
condition was upgraded to satisfactory on Tuesday evening.
Information from nurses treating the boy indicates he was the
shooter's target, hospital spokesman Eric Finley said. There
was some confusion about the boy's age, but Finley said his
parents told the hospital he is 11.
The governor said a staff member received very minor
injuries, but declined medical care because he wanted to stay
The suspected shooter, whom police have not named, was
transferred to an Albuquerque psychiatric hospital following
a hearing on Tuesday, according to lawyer Robert Gorence, who
is representing his family.
On Tuesday night, hundreds of people poured into the Roswell
Civic Center for a prayer vigil, including elected officials
and law enforcement officers from various agencies. There
were many hugs and tears.
Eighth-grader Odiee Carranza said she was walking to the
school gym when the shooter bumped into her as he rushed
past. She told him to be careful, and he apologised and
continued on. The boy ran to the gym, where he pulled a gun
from a band instrument case and fired at the students.
"Then he shot up in the sky, then dropped the gun, and then
some teacher grabbed the kid that had the gun," Carranza
Carranza described the shooter as a "smart kid and a nice
State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said the investigation was
in the early stages, and authorities were still looking into
a possible motive. He estimated more than 100 students and
faculty members needed to be interviewed.
"I don't have a lot of answers as of yet," Kassetas said,
adding police believe they have the only individual
responsible for the shooting in custody. The suspect's name
was not released.
A statement from the state police said authorities responded
at 8.11am. The school was placed on lockdown and children
were bussed to a nearby mall, where parents picked them up.
Classes were later cancelled and won't resume until Thursday.
Roswell has a population of about 50,000. It is a centre for
ranching and farming. The city is perhaps best-known as the
site of an alleged UFO crash in 1947.