New Mexico School Shooting Leaves 2 Students, Suspect Dead

Published: Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 11:48am
Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 5:52pm

A shooting at a New Mexico high school left two students and the suspect dead Thursday, authorities said as schools throughout the small town shut down for the day.

Police did not release any details about the shooter but confirmed the other two people who were killed attended Aztec High School. No other injuries were reported, officials said.

"The families of the victims were notified immediately. They are in our thoughts and prayers," state police said in a statement on social media.

At a press conference held in the small town, Gov. Susanna Martinez said that all New Mexicans are with Aztec, and asked for the media to be patient as authorities investigate.

We know that right now there are more questions than answers. Today, we’re focused on providing comfort and help to the families and people in the community, of course, that need it. And to our students who were, I’m sure, very afraid," Martinez said.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has taken the lead on the investigation and is asking any witnesses to come forward with information on the shooting.

The school of about 900 students was cordoned off as authorities cleared the campus and teens were taken to another location.

A crowd of nervous parents gathered outside City Hall in the moments after the shooting to wait for more information as officers tried to reassure them about the safety of their children.

Despite the closure of all schools in Aztec, authorities said there were no other credible threats to students at the high school or other schools in the neighboring communities of Bloomfield or Farmington.

Aztec is a rural community of 6,500 people in the heart of northwestern New Mexico's oil and gas country and near the Navajo Nation. Its main street is lined by old brick buildings that date back more than a century.

Residents voiced disbelief on social media, while members of the New Mexico congressional delegation, state Attorney General Hector Balderas and other elected officials offered their condolences and other assistance.

"While details are still coming in, we grieve for the innocent victims in this senseless act of violence. Too many lives have been disrupted and too many futures cut short," U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan said in a tweet.

If you like this story, Donate Now!