New details emerge in Roswell shooting
ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Police now say they believe the suspect in the Berrendo Middle School shooting planned the attack.
At a press conference Wednesday, NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas says 12-year-old- Mason Campbell shot three rounds from his shotgun, one in the ceiling, one in the floor, and one that hit students. He also says that the victims appear to be random.
“I can probably speak to the fact that I believe when the incident occurred, it was random. The victims were random,” said Kassetas.
An 12-year-old Roswell boy remains in critical condition after being shot in the face and neck while waiting to go to class. Hospital officials say his condition did not change overnight, but says he has already undergone two surgeries.
Out of respect for his family’s requests KRQE News 13 is not releasing his name.
The other victim of the shooting, 13-year-old Kendal Sanders, was hit in the shoulder by shrapnel. Her condition was upgraded to satisfactory Wednesday.
Hospital officials say she could be released as early as Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the shooting continues.
The shooting happened at 7:30 a.m., just as the day was getting started. State police spent the night interviewing witnesses and people who may have information in the case.
The accused shooter, 12-year-old Mason Campbell, is a seventh grader at Berrendo Middle School.
It’s believed he brought his parents’ 20-gauge birdshot shotgun, which contains dozens of small pellets, on campus hidden in a bag. It’s also believed that the suspect altered the gun himself, sawing off the wood stock so it would fit in the bad.
Police have not said what they have found during searches of the suspect’s locker and home, but on Wednesday, police were no longer staked out in front of the house.
No one answered the door at the suspect’s home Wednesday, but KRQE News 13 did speak with one women who says she sees Mason’s parents every day and says they’re a loving family.
“I hear a lot of people say it all starts with the parents, it all starts with how you raise your kids, but I don’t think this is really the case because I see these parents very involved in their kids,” said Christine Ross.
Investigators still have a lot of information to explore.
”I can tell you that today we have done over 60 interviews. I appreciate the assistance from our law enforcement partners that have come to this area to aid us and that are from here.” Chief Pete Kassetas said. “This is an investigating that is in depth, very time consuming, very detailed and we can’t do it alone.”
Police say as the suspect walked into school Tuesday morning, he warned students about the shooting and they’re also investigating if he posted anything on social media:
“You know, we have some indication of that. We are still going through the social media as I talked about, but we believe there was some preliminary warnings as he arrived at school, but we’re working through those interviews,” said Kassetas.
The district attorney’s office says they are still in the process of filing the charges, but have not yet. Sources have confirmed the suspect cannot be tried as an adult.
State police say the boy is in state custody in Albuquerque at a psychiatric hospital. He was taken there after a court hearing Tuesday.
The family of the suspect released a statement Wednesday, saying they’re praying for the victims and their families. They say they are thankful a judge ordered Campbell to receive an evaluation and mental health treatment. They also say they will cooperate in every way with law enforcement to piece together why the tragedy happened.
Where Students Go From Here
At this point, classes are scheduled to resume Thursday at Berrendo Middle School.
“Our teachers tomorrow have a very difficult and stressful day coming and they have all worked hard today to prepare for tomorrow,” said Burris at Wednesday’s new conference.
There is obviously concern about the reaction from students when they walk through those doors, and how they’ll cope with it throughout the day.
“The teachers need to be prepared to basically triage and make sure that we have all the kids who are in and have been affected by this so crisis intervention team is able to work with them,” Burris said.
The crisis intervention team will be at the school to help the students, not just Thursday, but in the coming days and weeks.
A group of therapy dogs will be part of that team. They just happened to be in town as part of training and have already been working with kids.
Those with the Arapahoe School District have offered to send a group of kids to Berrendo Middle School to help with the recovery process.
Last month they experienced a very similar shooting at their high school which left a 17-year-old girl dead.