One student was killed and another was arrested Friday after a lunchtime shooting at a high school near downtown Albuquerque, the police said.
The shooting at Washington High School is the second in Albuquerque in less than 24 hours. The city is on track to break its homicide record this year, after reaching a previous annual high of 80 murders in 2019 in the first eight months of 2021.
Scott Elder, Albuquerque Public Schools Supervisor, told police at a news conference that it was a terrible day for the school district and for the entire community.
“I want to send my thoughts and prayers to all of our students, to all of our families affected by this horrible event,” he added.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday that she is heartbroken, noting that more work is needed to address gun violence in New Mexico.
For his part, Albuquerque Police Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock said the shooting was an isolated incident between the two students, who are believed to be about 13 years old. He said a school agent ran in the direction of the two boys after the shooting and prevented further violence.
Investigators are trying to determine how the student obtained the gun and what could have caused the shooting, Hartsock said. He said that other students will be interviewed within the investigations of the detectives to try to decipher what happened.
The school ordered an emergency closure and parents were asked to pick up their children. Friday was the third day of school in the Albuquerque Public School District. Although the students will return until Tuesday, Elder noted that campus staff will make arrangements for students to have access to counseling and other support services they need.
“Of course it’s extremely difficult,” Hartsock said, referring to something like this happening so early in the school year. “There is a lot of pressure in the community. People are nervous. It was a terrible incident between two people. It should never have happened. This should not happen in the community. Certainly not in school either.”
Police said there will be more officers when the students return, in the hope that they will provide a sense of security and in case the students have any additional information about the shooting.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.