The two students who were killed in a shooting at Aztec High School in Aztec, New Mexico, have been identified by police. The suspected shooter is also dead and no other injuries to students or faculty members were reporters, officials said.
The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to reveal that the two students who lost their lives on Thursday were Casey Marquez and Francisco “Paco” Fernandez. Marquez was a cheerleading captain while Francisco played for the school’s football team.
The community of Aztec gathered on Thursday night at the city’s Minimum Park to remember the victims, KRQE reported. Marquez’s grandparents offered an emotional tribute to their beloved granddaughter.
“She’d love to see everybody here… To come see her. She loved everybody. If anybody was down, she was always there to try to bring them up,” her grandfather said.
“This is something in our town that didn’t need to happen,” her grandmother lamented.
Police were first alerted to the shooting in Aztec, which is situated near the Navajo Nation in northwest New Mexico, at about 8:00 am. Students were in first period when the initial gunshots rang out.
Garrett Parker, a sophomore, recalled hearing a sound that resembled somebody punching a locker, CNN reported. It wasn’t until the sound got nearer that they realized it was gunshots. Students were instructed to hide until officials could clear the building, guiding them toward the back of the building and into a parking lot.
“I just can’t believe this happened in our community,” Sabrina Montoya, Garrett’s mother, told the outlet.” This is all a horrible feeling. 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.”