New Mexico School Shooting: More Questions Than Answers

It seems like every week, there is another shooting in another school in another state that leaves the victims and the rest of the world asking, “Why?” Today, our eyes turn to the town of Aztec, New Mexico, where a school shooting has police searching for answers.

What We Know So Far

Classes had barely begun on December 7, 2017, at Aztec High School when police got a call about gunshots being fired at approximately 8:00 a.m.

An announcement over the school’s intercom system warned students and staff to stay in their locked classrooms.

Police soon sprang into action, clearing the building. Several teachers and students helped protect and guide others until the gunfire stopped and police gave the signal that it was safe to leave.

Ultimately, three people were reported dead: the unidentified male shooter and students Casey Marquez and Francisco Fernandez.

Police Seeking Answers

Aztec is a small community with a population of less than 6,000 people. Residents have likely been reciting an oft-repeated refrain: this type of thing wasn’t supposed to happen in this town. So why did it happen?

Police are still looking for clues. As of this writing, no weapon has been identified. According to students and teachers, whatever the weapon was, it was loud.  Sophomore Garrett Parker said when students heard the gunshots, they initially thought was someone punching the lockers.

Police have not yet determined the shooter’s motive. It is unknown if Marquez and Fernandez were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if they were the intended targets.

In the wake of the shooting, Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, urged action to address the “epidemic of gun violence” in the U.S.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office is heading the shooting investigation and collaborating with the Aztec Police Department, New Mexico State Police, and the FBI.