ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A student opened fire Tuesday morning at a middle school in the southeastern New Mexico city of Roswell, shooting two students before being taken into custody.
Officials at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, say a 14-year-old boy was flown there in critical condition and a 13-year-old girl was en route in serious condition. Information from nurses treating the boy indicates he was the shooter’s target, hospital spokesman Eric Finley said.
Police say the suspect opened fire at Berrendo Middle School as classes were starting for the day.
A student who witnessed the shooting said a male student shot the boy twice in the face and shot the girl in the arm.
Eighth grader Odiee Carranza said she was walking to the school gym when a boy bumped into her as he rushed past. She told him to be careful, and he apologized and continued on. He ran to the gym, where he pulled a gun out of a band instrument case and fired at the students.
“Then he shot up in the sky, then dropped the gun, and then some teacher grabbed the kid that had the gun,” Carranza said.
Carranza described the shooter as a “smart kid and a nice kid.”
A statement from the state police said authorities responded at 8:11 a.m. Roswell police say the school was placed on lockdown, and the suspected shooter was arrested. Age and other details on the suspect were not immediately released.
Police said children were bused to a nearby mall, where parents could pick up them up.
“I’m still scared to go back to school,” Carranza said.
Sixth-grade student Anyssa Vegara told the Albuquerque Journal she was talking to a security guard when she heard a shot.
“I turned around, and all I saw was someone on the floor with their arm bleeding,” Vegara told the Journal.
She said the security guard ran to assist the injured student, and school officials ordered all the other students to their classrooms.
Eventually, she was able to text her mother, Monica Vegara.