New Mexico School Shooter’s Spree was Planned

Family issues apology as one victim remains in critical condition and another is stable

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Mark Wilson / Roswell Daily Record / Reuters

Students are reunited with families at a staging ground set up at the Roswell Mall following an early morning shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, N.M., on Jan. 14, 2014

Updated 8:05 p.m. on Jan. 15

The 12-year-old boy who allegedly shot two students at his New Mexico middle school Tuesday acquired the gun he used in the shooting spree at home and planned the attack in advance, State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said in a press conference Wednesday. “The gun came from the residence of the suspect’s,” the police chief said.

The police chief added, “We did find evidence that the suspect had planned this event … I can’t discuss the particulars as to why.”

A 13-year-old girl, Kendal Sanders, was shot in the arm and is stable but an 11-year-old boy who was hit in the face remained in critical condition Tuesday night. The boy’s family has asked that his name not be released.

Kassetas said targets appear to have been hit at random in the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico. The alleged shooter, he said, walked into the school gymnasium, shot once at the ceiling, once into the floor, and once into the stands where a group of fellow students were standing awaiting the start of class.

“There is no indication that he had any ammunition other than what was loaded in that gun: three rounds,” Kassetas said.

Police believe the shooter may have warned other students to stay away from school on the day of the shooting.

In the attack, police say the boy used a .20 gauge shotgun, which he got from home and modified himself by cutting off the stock.  Authorities do not believe he brought a large arsenal of weaponry with him.

The boy was convinced to lay down his gun by eighth-grade social studies teacher John Masterson.

A flood of 911 calls came into emergency responders in the minutes after the shooting, some from students themselves.
“Berrendo Middle School, a kid just got shot,” one middle school student caller said.

In a statement, the family of the alleged shooter expressed sorrow for those hurt and offered prayers for recovery. The family also expressed love and concern for the suspect.
“We love our young son and grandson dearly as does everyone in his extended family,” the statement said. “His whole family is heart broken as are many others in our tight-knit community in Roswell. This is a community that takes care of each other and loves each other and that is praying together. We are thankful that Judge Romero has ordered that our son receive an evaluation and mental health treatment and sincerely want him to receive all of the help that he needs.”

This story has been updated with a statement from the family of the alleged shooter, the name of one of the victims and further details of the event.


It's easy to say "we're sorry" after this happens. You weren't concerned about your kid enough to worry that he could get the weapon in your house? How about his mental state? I guess I'm a terrible person to say that I'd lock the kid up in a mental institution until he's at least 30, and throw the parents in after him for a minimum of 20 years. Just as an example to people who can't parent or take their responsibilities as a gun owner seriously enough.


Surprise, surprise. Who'd have thought THAT?


The parents should be charged.

With great power comes great responsibility. If gun owners believe in responsible gun ownership, then should be fine with being held accountable.


@TheInsomniac I don't disagree. But this has nothing to do with the tool used. The same argument should be made if the child used a kitchen knife, baseball bat, or thumb tack. Parents should teach, and take personal responsibility.


@godogsgo @TheInsomniac I think it does have something to do with the tool used. Consider, for example, if a rogue nuke got in the hands of a terrorist because of failures on the part of our government. We would expect them to exercise greater caution with nukes, than, for say a missile without a nuclear warhead. And greater for that, than, for say, an RPG, and greater for an RPG than for a gun.

It's not reasonable to expect a person to be responsible for their kitchen knives and baseball bats because those items are so commonplace, and because it's really freaking hard to kill people with those weapons. Does it happen? Yes, but it's rare.

And ironically, many did attempt to blame the justice department for a botched program to catch drug runners that resulted in U.S. guns being used in crimes. If the government is culpable for those guns, why shouldn't citizen gun owners be guilty of the same?


@trlrunner64 I'll ignore your BS, political, "true colors" comment, and entertain your proposition: let's place blame where it belongs. The gunwalking tactic, to which I alluded, began under Bush's DOJ. It was continued under Obama. Of course, likely neither president knew about its inner workings. But seeing as how you are keen on placing blame, and clearly you are the fair type, I think you'd agree that Bush needs to be held accountable for his irresponsibility and flouting of the law.


TheInsomniac When you say the words "Ironically" and "attempt" you show your true are standing by your presidents men & women who have disgraced this country with their criminal actions, and you act as though they never happened. The World see's our country as a nation of Laws' but with no concern for following them.The same goes for many in our nation because they role model their party's behavior, (both).We don't have a problem with the Laws we have we have problem following them.Parents should always be responsible for their children and these evidently were not or they took a blind eye approach to their child’s behavior; just like you are doing with the President and his people.


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