Jan 14, 2014 5:48 PM by David Randall
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A student opened fire Tuesday morning at a New Mexico middle school gym, seriously wounding two students, authorities said.
State police said the shooter, a 12 year-old boy in the seventh grade, was in custody and was the only suspect. The shots were reported just after 8 a.m. at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell.
Two children, a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, were flown to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, both in critical condition, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez told reporters. The girl's condition was later upgraded to serious.
"I am asking that all New Mexicans to keep these children in your prayers," Martinez said.
A school staff member was slightly wounded and declined treatment.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said the shooter walked into the gymnasium and opened fire as students were gathered to shield themselves from the cold.
Authorities said a staff member, who wasn't identified, walked up to the shooter and stopped the incident. A state police lieutenant, who was dropping his own child off at the school, quickly rushed up to help.
Students were taken by bus to a nearby mall, where visibly distraught parents gathered to pick them up. NBC station KOB of Albuquerque reported that parents were being taken five or six at a time into the mall to be reunited with their children.
"Right now, I'm just - I'm scared," Diana Carrasco, the mother of a Berrendo student, told KOB.
"I want to see my son. I know he's OK because I got a text message from him, but I just want to hug him," she said.
"It was scary. It was freaky," another parent, Kathy Sigala, told KOB at the mall. "I didn't understand. I got a call from where I work, and I was at home. I just got in my car, and my daughter came with the other kids."
"Today's the day that no superintendent ever wants to go through," School Superintendent Tom Burris said, but "there was some good."
"There was no cowardice," Burris said. "Everyone acted and did their duty today at Berrendo Middle School."