Monday, February 24, 2020
US flag

Details emerge about the N.M. school shooter

Two days after gunfire erupted in a Northern New Mexico high school, details have emerged to indicate that the shooter was a 21-year-old former student at the school who impersonated a student in order to gain entry to the building and create as much carnage as he could before taking his own life, ABC News reports.

The shooter has been identified as William Atchison, and he left a note on a thumb drive that was found on his person after the attack Thursday morning at Aztec High School near the Colorado border. “Work sucks, school sucks, life sucks. I just want out of this [expletive],” the note said.

Killed by his hand were Francisco I Fernandez and Casey J Marquez, both students at the school. After Atchison shot Fernandez, a student known for his skill on the computer, he walked out into the hallway and shot Marquez dead. In addition to being a student at the school, she was a cheerleader and looking forward to performing at the Orange Bowl.

“She lit up pretty much any room we were all in,” the network quoted another student as saying about her. “She was such a fun person to be around.”


(Casey’s Facebook profile)

After Marquez was killed, Atchison reportedly walked up and down the hallways of the school, firing randomly, just as he did at Fernandez and Marquez, who were not known to be targeted by Atchison. Police say he had legally purchased the 9mm Glock pistol used in the attack a month ago. He had no criminal record—not even a traffic ticket—and his only known encounter with law enforcement was when the FBI questioned him in 2016 over a comment he had posted on a gaming website about weapons that could be used in a mass shooting.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.