A report via koat cited NMSP saying there were no additional injuries which took place in the New Mexico city of Aztec. The city is part of San Jan County and located 143 miles north west of Albuquerque.
Aztec is noted as a rural community of 6,500 people in the heart of northwestern New Mexico’s oil and gas country and near the Navajo Nation. Its main street is lined by old brick buildings that date back more than a century.
Initial reports told of the shooting beginning just on 8.30am local time at the school, with fears that there had been up to 15 individuals injured.
Come 9.30am, police had evacuated the school and made arrangements for parents to collect their children.
Police later affirmed that there were three fatalities, including that of the gunman, but no injuries.
While officials have yet to publicly release the identifies of the slain, social media began commiserating the deaths of two senior high school students, Paco Fernandez and Casey Jordan.
To date, New Mexico State Police have declined to release the names of the victims pending notification of the next of kin.
That said, authorities released that the San Juan County Operations Manager said the shooter was a student, while not release the assailant’s name.
It wasn’t clear whether police took down the shooter or whether the gunman killed himself?
As of Thursday afternoon, authorities said, ‘the scene was under control’.
Abqjournal reported authorities scheduling a news conference to release more information at 3 p.m. Thursday, local time.
Responding to the shooting, Michael Padilla, a former Aztec School board member said the shooting was ‘an absolute horror and an unknown element in their normally serene community.’
A motive for the mass shooting is also unclear at this point. It isn’t known whether the victims had been specifically targeted or random targets. Previous mass shootings at school have been associated with assailants seeking revenge for what they described as unrelenting bullying.
Of note, the Aztec High school shooting took place a week before the fifth anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 year old recluse, Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook, killing 20 children and six staff members.
A vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at the Aztec Presbyterian Church.
Since 2013, there have been at least 266 School shootings in the United States. Welcome to a brave new America.