Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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A student was shot and killed by another student at Washington Middle School on Friday, the third day of the school year. The victim died at the hospital while being treated for their injuries.

Police were dispatched to Washington Middle School around 12:45 on Friday after receiving calls about a shooting. The shooting was reported to have been an isolated incident between two 13-year-old boys. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

A school police officer posted at Washington Middle School immediately responded to the shooting and deescalated the situation before taking the shooter into custody, say spokespersons for the district and Albuqueruque police. The parents of both the victim and the shooter have been notified. 

The shooting happened during a lunch break.

The Paper. spoke to a parent and student shortly after the shooting. Rebecca Marquez, a parent of a student present at the scene of the shooting, spoke about how her son called her while running away from the scene. “My reaction was I was scared. I was scared because I heard his fear,” Marquez said. “I was scared. I live close by and seemed like it was hours away.”

Some students told media that the shooting appeared premeditated, though police declined to speculate pending further investigation. Students told reporters, including The Paper.,that two students were in an altercation the day prior and the shooter had allegedly threatened to bring a gun to school. Marquez told The Paper. she has heard similar stories and expressed her frustration that no one intervened: “We’re shocked, sad, and also mad.”

Public officials across the state released statements on the Washington Middle School Shooting on Friday. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham stated:

“I am horrified and heartbroken by today’s events in Albuquerque. My thoughts go out to the students, families and staff of Washington Middle School, and my prayers are with the loved ones of the victim and all those affected by this senseless act of violence. We must continue to do everything in our power to address the scourge of gun violence in our state. These tragedies should never occur. That they do tells us there is more work to be done. My office has been and will remain in close contact with the district and local authorities as we await additional details of the investigation.”

An official press release from Mayor Tim Keller stated:

“Today, Washington Middle School children, teachers, staff, and families experienced what no one should, let alone at a place we trust is safe for our children. Liz and I are grieving with Albuquerque families, who are worried about the safety of their children after seeing the news of gun violence so close to a school. Our hearts ache for the victim’s family. We’re grateful for the quick action of the school resource officer who was on scene and disarmed the suspected shooter. We have APD working closely with school officials to investigate the crime and to provide assistance needed in the coming days.”


APS Superintendent Scott Elder announced that the school would be closed to students on Monday to prepare staff for students to return on Tuesday.

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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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