NM Sheriff: Heroes saved lives in school shooting

By  | 

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — 11:50 a.m.

Photo: Google Maps

Authorities say heroes helped save lives during a deadly shooting at a New Mexico high school.

San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen told reporters Friday that a substitute teacher heard the gunshots Thursday morning at Aztec High School but didn't have a key to lock the door to the computer lab.

So she took students into an office or storage area and barricaded the door with a couch.

He says 21-year-old William Atchison came to the room and yelled that he knew they were in there and then fired multiple shots into the room.

Christesen says a custodian also heard the gunshots and yelled for classrooms to lock their doors.


11:40 a.m.

Authorities say a gunman killed two students randomly at a New Mexico high school in a planned attack.

San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen told reporters Friday that 21-year-old William Atchison of the small town of Aztec had legally purchased a 9mm Glock pistol a month ago.

State Police Chief Pete Kassetas says the shooter had multiple magazines with him and went to a bathroom after disguising himself as a student to get into Aztec High School.

He says Francisco I. Fernandez had excused himself from class to go to the bathroom and was immediately shot. Kassetas says Atchison then walked into the hallway, encountered Casey J. Marquez and killed her.

Authorities say he walked up and down the hallway, firing randomly and into classrooms.

Officials say they believe Atchison shot himself.


11:30 a.m.

The FBI says online comments made last year by a gunman who killed two students at a New Mexico high school had led them to conduct an investigation.

Terry Wade, FBI special agent in charge in Albuquerque, told reporters Friday that the 21-year-old made generic comments in a gaming forum and the agency checked databases and interviewed him and his family in March 2016.

Wade says the man didn't have a gun at that time and told agents that he had no plans for an attack. He also didn't have ties to any organizations.

The FBI closed the investigation when it determined no crime was committed.


11:15 a.m.

Authorities say the 21-year-old gunman who killed two students at a New Mexico high school disguised himself as a student to gain access to the school.

San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen on Friday shared a message the gunman had written before the shooting on Thursday morning. It included a timeline of what the gunman had planned.

Christesen called the shooting at Aztec High School a cowardly act and that the shooter was determined to create as much carnage as he could.

Authorities said the gunman lived with his parents in Aztec and had worked at a gas station. In his message, he wrote that work, school and life was bad and he wanted out.


10 a.m.

Authorities have scheduled a news conference Friday morning to release more details of a New Mexico high school shooting that left two students and a gunman dead.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office says Casey J. Marquez and Francisco I. Fernandez died during a shooting at Aztec High School after a gunman shot them.

But authorities have released no details on the gunman, his motives and even if he was a student.

David Stone tells The Associated Press that he heard multiple gunshots before his teacher ushered him and his classmates into a closet.

Heaven Angelica Hughes said her classroom was next door from the shooting and bullets came into her room, nearly hitting a classmate.