Police Say Student Reported Hearing 'Voices' Before Shooting

Feb 14, 2019

2/20 11a:  Police say a 16-year-old boy accused of firing a gun at a New Mexico high school told officers 11 months prior voices were telling him to "shoot up the school."

The Albuquerque Journal reports police were called to V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, in March 2018 after a girl told staff the teen had sent her text messages about bringing a weapon to campus.

The teen was not charged in connection with that episode and it's unclear if school officials took any action

Police said the teen opened fire on campus last week before leaving the gun behind and running from the scene. No one was hurt.

A state district judge ordered Monday the teen to remain in detention while he undergoes mental health evaluations.

The Associated Press is not naming the suspect because of his age. 

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2/18 1p: A New Mexico teen who authorities say fired a gun at a Rio Rancho high school and intended to kill his ex-girlfriend has been ordered to undergo mental health evaluations.

State District Judge George Eichwald directed state officials on Monday to hold the 16-year-old boy in detention at least until his psychiatric assessments.

Police say the teen opened fire inside a high school in Rio Rancho, northwest of Albuquerque, last week before leaving the gun behind and running from the scene. No one was hurt.

He's facing three counts of attempted murder and other charges.

Defense attorney Steven Archibeque say the teen is taking medication for a number of mental health issues.

The Associated Press is not naming the V. Sue Cleveland High School student from Rio Rancho because of his age.

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2/15 4:25p: A note found in a 16-year-old boy's pocket indicated that he had planned to kill his ex-girlfriend and others on Valentine's Day, when he fired a gunshot inside his high school, according to documents filed by authorities in court.

No one was injured in the shooting that happened Thursday morning before classes started at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, northwest of Albuquerque.

A witness had told authorities in a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Albuquerque Journal on Friday that the 16-year-old suspect had approached three other students sitting in an alcove before opening fire.

The Associated Press is not naming the suspect because of his age. He is facing charges of attempting to commit murder and unlawfully carrying a deadly weapon onto school grounds. Online court records do not yet list a defense attorney who could provide comment on the boy's behalf.

He is being detained at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center after being questioned Thursday.

Police have not said where the suspect got the gun he carried onto school grounds on the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre that killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — the deadliest high school shooting in the nation's history.

In New Mexico, it is a misdemeanor offense for a person younger than the age of 19 to be in possession of a firearm.

Citing school surveillance video, police said the teen wore a ski mask that he took off before entering the building around 7 a.m. Thursday.

The witness, who was among the students in the alcove, said the boy pointed the handgun at the group, and at first, it did not go off.

A shot then went off after the suspect manipulated the weapon and pulled the trigger, the witness told officers.

Police said the boy also intended to kill himself, but instead he put down the weapon after firing a shot and ran to a dry wash where he was arrested.

A teacher told police she received a text from the suspect in which he reportedly said "the voices won't stop." He also said "sorry" in the message and asked if anyone had been hurt.

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2/15 3:22p: 

Police say a note found in a 16-year-old New Mexico boy's pocket indicated that he had planned to kill his ex-girlfriend and others on Valentine's Day, when he fired a gunshot inside his high school.

No one was injured in the shooting Thursday morning at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, northwest of Albuquerque.

A search warrant affidavit filed by authorities in court and obtained by the Albuquerque Journal on Friday said that the teen also intended to kill himself, but instead put down the weapon after opening fire and ran to a dry wash where he was arrested.

Citing surveillance video, police said they teen wore a ski mask that he took off before entering the school.

The Associated Press is not naming the boy because of his age.

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5:51p A 16-year-old student suspected of opening fire inside a high school in suburban Albuquerque was charged Thursday with attempting to commit murder and carrying a deadly weapon on school grounds, police said.

The shooting, in which no one was injured, came on the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre.

The boy, who police say fired a handgun before leaving it behind and fleeing, was quickly taken into custody. In a statement, Rio Rancho police said the student also was facing a misdemeanor count of being a person younger than 19 in possession of a firearm. Information on an attorney was not immediately known.

The Associated Press is not naming the V. Sue Cleveland High School student from Rio Rancho because of his age. Police said he had been booked into the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center after he was questioned by officers.

Students were quickly evacuated, but the episode still sent shockwaves through the sprawling suburb north of New Mexico's largest city, said Rio Rancho Police Chief Stewart Steele. More than 2,500 students attend the high school.

"It was extremely scary," Steele said. "We just thank God it ended the way it did."

Authorities had not yet identified a motive for the shooting that occurred around 7 a.m. Police believe the shot had been fired inside a hallway but didn't know at the start of the day if the shooter had pointed a gun at anyone.

Rio Rancho Superintendent V. Sue Cleveland, whose name dons the high school, said at least two students witnessed the gunshot before the shooter fled on foot.

He was spotted by police 30 minutes after the shooting in dry wash near the school, Steele said.

School officials said on Twitter that all students were safe, and the district's other schools were open. They announced later Thursday that classes at the high school would be postponed until Tuesday, the day after Presidents' Day.

Kristy Berberich said outside the high school that her 16-year-old son called her immediately after students heard a gunshot.

"I was worried sick but I knew he was safe," she said.

The episode came as thousands of students and others planned a moment of silence to remember the 14 students and three staff members killed last Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the deadliest high school shooting in the nation's history.

That tragedy — along with a deadly shooting at New Mexico's Aztec High School in December 2017 — is helping to fuel debate in the state Legislature over an ambitious slate of bills related to firearms and school safety.

The arrival in January of a Democratic governor to succeed a pro-gun rights Republican has opened the door to calls for broader background checks on private gun sales and initiatives to remove firearms from the hands of people who may be suicidal or seen as a danger to others.

The gun-seizure measure was passed by the Democrat-led House late Wednesday following an emotionally charged debate. Outside the House chamber, about 30 high-school aged students gathered in the Capitol rotunda to mark the anniversary of the Parkland massacre. They received praise from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for pushing peacefully for new gun-safety regulations.

Additional initiatives would ensure teachers cannot carry firearms at schools and expand child neglect laws to encompass the secure storage of household firearms.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said the episode reinforces the need for gun safety reforms and infrastructure spending to secure schools.

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5:10p

Police say a 16-year-old boy suspected of opening fire inside a New Mexico high school is being charged with three counts of attempting to commit murder.Rio Rancho police said in a statement late Thursday that the student also is facing a felony count of unlawfully carrying a deadly weapon on school grounds. He has been booked into the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center.

The Associated Press is not naming the student because of his age.

Police say he fired a handgun inside V. Sue Cleveland High School on Thursday morning before school started. No one was injured in the shooting.

Police have not said what may have motivated the student to open fire.

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4:44p:  Authorities were trying to determine a motive Thursday after a high school student fired a gunshot at a suburban Albuquerque high school. Police and school officials said no one was injured, but the incident sparked an evacuation and had worried parents rushing to the school on the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre.

Rio Rancho Police Chief Stewart Steele said a male student suspected of firing a handgun before classes started at V. Sue Cleveland High School was in custody and was being questioned by authorities. He was not immediately identified.

More than 2,500 students attend the high school.

"It was extremely scary," Steele said. "We just thank God it ended the way it did."

He said the student had fled the school after the shooting and left the weapon behind. He was spotted by police 30 minutes after the shooting in dry wash near the school, Steele said, and was caught running away.

The shooting occurred around 7 a.m. Police believe the shot had been fired inside a hallway but didn't know if the shooter has pointed a gun at anyone.

Rio Rancho Superintendent V. Sue Cleveland, whose name dons the high school, said at least two students witnessed the gunshot. "They are doing as well as expected," she said.

School officials said on Twitter that all students were safe, and the district's other schools were open. They announced later Thursday that classes at the high school would be postponed until Tuesday, the day after Presidents' Day.

Kristy Berberich said outside the high school that her 16-year-old son called her immediately after students heard a gunshot.

"I was worried sick but I knew he was safe," she said.

Police and school officials advised parents to stay away from the school and to await word on a plan to pick up students, who were taken to an arena about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the school.

The episode comes as thousands of students and others planned a moment of silence to remember the 14 students and three staff members killed last Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the deadliest high school shooting in the nation's history.

That tragedy — along with a deadly shooting at New Mexico's Aztec High School in December 2017 — is helping to fuel debate in the state Legislature over an ambitious slate of bills related to firearms and school safety.

The arrival in January of a Democratic governor to succeed a pro-gun rights Republican has opened the door to calls for broader background checks on private gun sales and initiatives to remove firearms from the hands of people who may be suicidal or seen as a danger to others.

The gun-seizure measure was passed by the Democrat-led House late Wednesday following an emotionally charged debate. Outside the House chamber, about 30 high-school aged students gathered in the Capitol rotunda to mark the anniversary of the Parkland massacre. They received praise from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for pushing peacefully for new gun-safety regulations.

Additional initiatives would ensure teachers cannot carry firearms at schools and expand child neglect laws to encompass the secure storage of household firearms.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said the episode reinforces the need for gun safety reforms and infrastructure spending to secure schools.

In Rio Rancho, school buses shuttled students to the nearby event center as police cordoned off the school and blocked roads leading to the campus. While no details were immediately released about the suspect in custody or the circumstances of the gunshot, police planned a briefing later Thursday.

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1:04p: A shot was fired Thursday on the grounds of a suburban Albuquerque high school on the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre, but police and school officials said no one was injured and a suspect was in custody.

The V. Sue Cleveland High School in the community of Rio Rancho was evacuated just before school began, police said, and worried parents rushed to the school after getting calls from their children. More than 2,500 students attend the high school.

Rio Rancho Police Chief Stewart Steele said that a male student suspected of using a handgun to fire the shot before school started had been taken into custody and was being questioned by authorities. Steele said investigators still haven't determined a motive.

While there were no injuries and students at the school were quickly evacuated, the episode still sent shockwaves through the sprawling suburb north of New Mexico's largest city, Steele said.

"It was extremely scary," Steele said. "We just thank God it ended the way it did."

He said the student, who has not been identified by authorities, had fled the school after opening fire and left the weapon behind. The student was spotted by police 30 minutes after the shooting in dry wash near the school, Steele said.

He was caught running away, Steele said.

The shooting occurred around 7 a.m. before school was scheduled to start. Police believe the shot had been fired inside a hallway but didn't know if the shooter has pointed a gun at anyone.

Rio Rancho Superintendent V. Sue Cleveland, whose name dons the high school, said at least two students witnessed the gunshot. "They are doing as well as expected," she said.

School officials said on Twitter that all students were safe, and the district's other schools were open. They did not know when classes would resume.

Kristy Berberich said outside the high school that her 16-year-old son called her immediately after students heard a gunshot.

"I was worried sick but I knew he was safe," she said.

Police and school officials advised parents to stay away from the school and to await word on a plan to pick up students, who were taken to an arena about 3 miles from the school.

The episode comes as thousands of students and others planned a moment of silence to remember the 14 students and three staff members killed last Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the deadliest high school shooting in the nation's history.

That tragedy — along with a deadly shooting at New Mexico's Aztec High School in December 2017 — is helping to fuel debate in the state Legislature over an ambitious slate of bills related to firearms and school safety.

The arrival in January of a Democratic governor to succeed a pro-gun rights Republican has opened the door to calls for broader background checks on private gun sales and initiatives to remove firearms from the hands of people who may be suicidal or seen as a danger to others.

The gun-seizure measure was passed by the House, which is led by Democrats, late Wednesday following an emotionally charged debate. Outside the House chamber, about 30 high-school aged students gathered in the Capitol rotunda to mark the anniversary of the Parkland massacre. They received praise from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for pushing peacefully for new gun-safety regulations.

Additional initiatives would ensure teachers cannot carry firearms at schools and expand child neglect laws to encompass the secure storage of household firearms.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said the episode reinforces the need for gun safety reforms and infrastructure spending to secure schools.

In Rio Rancho, school buses shuttled students to the nearby event center as police cordoned off the school and blocked roads leading to the campus. While no details were immediately released about the suspect in custody or the circumstances of the gunshot, police planned a briefing later Thursday.

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10a:

Police say a person who opened fire inside a high school in an Albuquerque suburb fled after shooting the handgun.

Rio Rancho police say no one was injured in the shooting before school started Thursday morning at V. Sue Cleveland High School.

At a news conference, Chief Stewart Steele told reporters that the person suspected of firing the shot has been taken into custody and is being questioned by authorities.

The person has not been identified.

Steele said he did not yet know what may have motivated the person to open fire. The shooting happened around 7 a.m.

School officials say V. Sue Cleveland High School has more than 2,500 students.

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8:30 a.m.

Officials in New Mexico say all students are safe following the evacuation of a high school in an Albuquerque suburb in response to a shot being fired at the school.

Rio Rancho police said nobody was injured in the incident Thursday morning at V. Sue Cleveland High School and that one person was in custody.

Rio Rancho Public Schools said in Twitter that all students are safe and all other schools in the district are secure.

Students are being taken from the high school to Santa Ana Star Center, a multipurpose arena about 3 miles (5 kilometers) away.

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8:20 a.m.

Worried parents raced to a high school in a suburb of Albuquerque, New Mexico, after getting calls from students about a gunshot being fired at the school.

Rio Rancho police said nobody was injured in the incident Thursday morning at V. Sue Cleveland High School and that one person was in custody.

Parent Kristy Berberich said outside the school that she was "worried sick" but knew her 16-year-old son was safe after he called her immediately after students hear a gunshot.

Another parent, Edward Smith, frantically walked around outside the school while talking with other parents but expressed relief when police at the scene said no one was injured.

The school was evacuated with students being taken to an arena about 3 miles away.

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8 a.m.

Police in New Mexico say a gunshot was fired at a high school in an Albuquerque suburb but that nobody was injured and that one person is in custody.

Rio Rancho police said on Twitter that V. Sue Cleveland High School was evacuated Thursday morning because of the incident.

Police and school officials advised parents to stay away from the school and to await word on a plan to pick up students.

No additional information was immediately available.