On Friday, the second shooting in Albuquerque occurred in 24 hours. The incident at Washington Middle School was during lunch. Top state officials described the shooting as a "scourge" and said that Albuquerque is on track to break its homicide record for this year.
These tragedies shouldn't happen. They do show us that there is still work to be done," Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.
Police Chief Harold Medina stated that the boy who was murdered was a "hero" in a short statement Friday night.
Medina stated that Medina stood up for a friend, and attempted to calm down a violent confrontation among classmates. Medina said that the incident was "a tragedy which has shaken our community."
Although no identities were released, Albuquerque Police Chief Kyle Hartsock described the shooting earlier as an isolated incident between two students aged about 13. After gunfire broke out, Hartsock said that a school resource officer ran towards the boys and stopped any violence, while caring for the boy who had been shot.
Hartsock stated that investigators were looking into how the student got the gun and what might have caused the shooting. Hartsock said that detectives were interviewing other students to try and piece together the events.
As they waited for their children's release, dozens of anxious parents gathered outside the school on Friday afternoon.
Friday marked the third day for Albuquerque’s public schools district. Although students will not return to school until Tuesday, Superintendent Scott Elder stated that the staff is making arrangements to ensure that students have access counseling and other support services.
He said that something like this happens so early in the schoolyear. There is a lot pressure in the community. People are anxious. It was an awful incident between two people. It shouldn't have happened. It should never have happened. It shouldn't happen in your community. This shouldn't happen in a school.
According to police, more officers will be on hand when students return to school in order to provide security and for students to get any additional information.
On Thursday night, gunfire erupted at a restaurant and sports bar near an Albuquerque shopping area. One person was reported to have been killed and three others were hurt when a man pulled out a gun in a fight.
In this case, no arrests were made. Investigators reviewed surveillance footage and interviewed witnesses.
The victim was identified by authorities as Lawrence Anzures (30-year-old boxer from Albuquerque).
A makeshift memorial of flowers and candles grew Friday outside the restaurant, providing more evidence of the frustration that families having been feeling.
These shootings occurred as Mayor Tim Keller met with other officials for his latest session to discuss curbing violence in the city. His administration hopes to make recommendations regarding improving the criminal justice system, and dealing with repeat offenders. According to the mayor's office, nearly 60% of suspects and more than 45% have criminal records for Albuquerque homicides.
Keller stated in a statement that "low-level offenders" need diversion programs to be bolstered and have real access to resources to improve their lives. "But, for violent offenders we must stop the revolving doors."