Early Tuesday morning, at the beginning of the school day in Roswell, N.M., a student walked into the Berrendo Middle School gymnasium with a shotgun and opened fire, hitting and critically wounding two fellow students.
Multiple sources reported that the two injured students, who were not named, were a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. The boy suffered multiple gunshots wounds to the face, and the girl sustained injuries to her arm. Authorities believe the student who was shot in the head was the gunman’s target.
“A student walked into the school this morning, and while students were gathered in the gym because of the weather, this individual opened fire on the audience that was in the gym," New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Only 10 seconds passed from the time the gunman entered the building to the time he was subdued by a school staff member. “There was no cowardice,” the school district’s superintendent said. According to KRQE, a member of the school’s staff approached the shooter and asked him to place down his weapon, and he did.
Police have identified the shooter as a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Berrendo Middle School. His name has not been released because of his age.
"I believed we have the only individual in custody who's responsible for this," State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas said at an afternoon press conference. "By time he got there, the weapon, we believe a shotgun, was laid on the ground.” According to reports, the gunman brought the weapon into school concealed inside a band instrument case. After the gun was confiscated by authorities, and the 12-year-old student was removed, police secured the scene and bused the remaining students to a mall in Roswell where parents were able to pick up their kids. Investigators are not sure of a motive yet, but are reportedly looking at various social media to try and pinpoint why the seventh-grader shot two students.