A gunman opened fire Tuesday morning at a New Mexico middle school, authorities said. At least four children were taken to the hospital, two in critical condition.
Police said the shooter was in custody. The shots were reported just after 8 a.m. local time at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell.
University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, said two children, a 14-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, were being flown there, both in critical condition. Eastern New Mexico Medical Center in Roswell said it was treating two other children. The extent of the injuries was not clear.
Anyssa Vegara, a sixth-grader, told The Albuquerque Journal newspaper that she was talking to a security guard when she heard a shot.
“I turned around and all I saw was someone on the floor with their arm bleeding,” Vegara said. She said the guard ran to help and the students were ordered into their classrooms.
Students were taken by bus to a nearby mall, where visibly distraught parents gathered to pick them up. KOB, the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, reported that parents were being taken five or six at a time into the mall to be reunited with their children.
“It was scary. It was freaky,” one parent, Kathy Sigala, told KOB at the mall. “I didn’t understand. I got a call from where I work and I was at home. I just got in my car, and my daughter came with the other kids.”
“We’re just grateful for Roswell, RPD, for their fast reaction in getting there and taking care of what they have to take of,” she added. “We just can't believe that it would happen here.”
Authorities planned a press conference later Tuesday to discuss the details.