ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday, a district court judge gave middle school shooter Mason Campbell the maximum sentence, putting him away till he’s 21.
Campbell spoke out for the very first time in court.
He kept his message short just like the sentence he was hoping for.
“I am very sorry for my actions,” said Campbell. “This is not what I meant to do. I am very sorry Kendal, Nathanial.”
Campbell, 13, faced both Kendal Sanders and Nathanial Tavarez in court Wednesday and apologized for his actions.
“I was quite terrified. I didn’t want to see the kid’s face who almost killed me,” said Tavarez.
Tavarez told KRQE that Campbell’s apology means nothing to him. Sanders, on the other hand, says she forgives him.
“I thought he was pretty sincere and I accept his apology,” said Sanders.
Since January, questions have lingered like why did Campbell fire off a blast of birdshot into a crowd at the Berrendo Middle School gym?
On Wednesday the motive was confirmed: bullying.
Campbell says he was tormented on a daily basis, claiming he was constantly teased and slammed to the ground.
In a notebook entry, written just four days before the school shooting, Campbell wrote he was so sick of the bullying he was going to end it.
District Attorney Matt Chandler read what Campbell wrote in court Wednesday.
“I am going to stab him in the back of the shoulder then when he turns around I’m going to slice his throat and take him out of his misery,” read Chandler.
But that planned changed, according to Campbell’s diary entry.
Instead, he decided to smuggle a shotgun into school and fire randomly into the gym bleachers.
“I think bullying is real and it certainly exists, but make no mistake neither one of these individuals are bullies,” said Chandler.
Campbell’s family says Mason is a loving, caring boy who didn’t get the attention he needed at home because his younger brother suffered a stroke and needed constant attention.
The family wanted the judge to sentence Campbell to two years of treatment at a low-security youth center.
The two classmates Campbell seriously injured wanted the maximum sentence and they got it.
“I’m glad that he got that because that’s only nine years for him, but I have to suffer the rest of my life with all this pain,” said Tavarez.
Campbell will be placed into CYFD custody and will undergo treatment and rehab.
If he behaves himself and if he can overcome his anger issues, he could be released before he’s 21.
No one has officially revealed who the bully was.
Campbell could not be sentenced as an adult because he committed the crime when he was 12.
Fourteen is the minimum age for an adult sentence in New Mexico.