A small New Mexico community is grieving the deaths of two high school students in a school shooting.
Two student are dead after a gunman entered Aztec High School in the small town of Aztec, New Mexico. The school became the scene of gun violence after 21-year-old William Atchison opened fire in its halls. According to TIME Magazine, the first student killed was named Francisco Fernandez. Fernandez was shot while walking into the bathroom, where Atchison was waiting and armed. Atchison exited the bathroom and came across Casey Marquez in the hallway, and immediately shot and killed her. He then set off random shots while walking down the hallway before killing himself. Authorities explain that Atchison appears to have arrived at the school when buses were dropping off students at the beginning of the day and snuck in with the crowd.
“This person is not only a coward, he is evil,” San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen told Albuquerque Journal. “In my mind there are so many things wrong with this.”
According to Albuquerque Journal, Atchinson had no prior criminal record. Not even a traffic ticket. However, the FBI confirmed that agents reached out to Atchinson after he made disturbing comments on a gaming forum. After contacting Atchinson, the FBI dropped the matter because it was determined no crime was being committed.
The town, with a population of about 6,500 people, is reeling after the shooting. Marquez was a senior and a cheerleader. Fernandez was a junior and a football player. More information will be coming forward as police continue to investigate the shooting.