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January 16, 2014

Suspect’s family ‘heartbroken’ over shooting

ROSWELL, N.M. — The 12-year-old boy who opened fire on a crowd of students in a New Mexico middle school gym had planned the attack and warned some classmates to stay away moments before the gunfire rang out, investigators said Wednesday.

State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said it appeared the victims in Tuesday’s shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell — an 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl — were chosen randomly.

The shotgun used by the boy came from his family’s home, and he had three rounds of ammunition, Kassetas said at a news conference.

“All three rounds were expended during the incident,” the police chief said. “There was no indication that he had any ammunition other than what was loaded in the gun.”

He declined to speculate on a motive.

The 11-year-old boy who was shot in the face and neck remained in critical condition Wednesday at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas. The 13-year-old girl, identified Kendal Sanders, was in satisfactory condition with injuries to the right shoulder. The family of the injured boy has asked that his name be withheld while he recovers.

Meanwhile, the suspected shooter’s family issued a statement Wednesday saying they were heartbroken and that their remorse could not be put into words. They said the two children who were injured have been in their thoughts and prayers.

“We are horribly sad over this tragedy on so many levels,” the family stated. “We are praying that God will be with everyone who has been affected.”

The family added it will cooperate with law enforcement to “piece together how this awful tragedy occurred.”

Police have not released the boy’s name, and The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify juveniles who are accused of crimes.

Police didn’t say when charges would be filed, only that they were working with the district attorney’s office. Kassetas described the case as complex.

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