3 dead in Aztec school shooting, 2 victims identified

3 dead in Aztec school shooting, 2 victims identified

On Thursday two students, Casey Marquez, a cheerleader and Francisco Fernandez, football player, were shot and killed in Aztec High School, Aztec, New Mexico, marking it the 57th shooting this year alone.

The town is about a three-hour drive from Albuquerque.

San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen told reporters Friday Atchison was able to disguise himself as a student to gain entry to the school.

The school of 900 students was cordoned off as authorities cleared the campus and teenagers were taken to be reunited with their mothers and fathers.

William Atchison, a former student at Aztec High School, had legally bought a handgun at a local store a month ago and planned the attack, authorities said.

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Bryn Divine, a senior at Aztec High School, remembered Marquez being a vibrant and friendly student who often won dance contests at school events.

Police said the two victims were not specific targets.

The shooting could have been even deadlier if not for substitute teacher Kathleen Potter, who was with her students inside a computer lab, officials said.

When Thomas Hill, a custodian, heard the shots, he saw the shooter and followed him and shouted at him authorities said. He fired multiple rounds to the wall, but did not hit anyone.

"It was very evident that he wanted law enforcement to find the thumb drive, it was found on his body", local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation told local reporters during a Friday press conference.

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Atchison shot himself just as police were entering the school.

"If things go according to plan, today would be when I die".

A "deranged" former student who disguised himself as a pupil, then shot dead a cheerleader and football player before turning the gun on himself, was known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As the noise got louder, they realized it was gunshots. "I'm glad my kids are safe and with us but I am devastated for my community and for the families who didn't get the chance to take their kids home".

At the vigil, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she will dedicate resources to Aztec.

"We are aware that there was a shooting at Aztec High School".

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Advocates will meet with parents of the children and school staff members at the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office at 335 S. Miller Ave, Friday, December 8, 2017.

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