A 12-year-old boy reportedly pulled a shotgun out of a band instrument bag and opened fire at about 8:15 AM, Jan 14, in the gymnasium at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, N.M., injuring two students, one of them critically, the Associated Press reports.
The victims—identified as Nathaniel Tavarez, 11, and Kendal Sanders, 13—were flown to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, about 170 miles east of Roswell. By Tuesday evening, Nathaniel was listed in critical condition, and Kendal was in satisfactory condition, the New York Times quoted Eric Finley, a hospital spokesman, as saying.
Reports suggest that a staff member at the school “walked right up to (the shooter) and asked him to set down the firearm, which he did,” the AP quoted Gov Susana Martinez as saying at a news conference.
The shooter was arrested, but his name was not released. At the same news conference, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N Kassetas said he believed the only person responsible in the shooting had been taken into custody. He also said that even after interviewing more than 100 people, including several students, no motive had been determined. Several other students described the alleged shooter as smart and nice to everybody, according to the New York Times story.
The school was placed on lockdown for several hours after the shooting, and students were then taken to a nearby mall, where family members were waiting to pick them up. School was canceled for Wednesday, Tom Burris, superintendent of the Roswell Independent School District, was quoted as saying.
Our prayers go out to Kendal, Nathaniel, and one teacher, who was also injured in the shooting but refused medical treatment because he wanted to remain at the scene and help students.