Stu­dents hid in class­rooms

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By The As­so­ci­ated Press Jon Aus­tria, The Daily Times

AZTEC, N.M.» Stu­dents hid in their class­rooms, some be­hind locked doors or in clos­ets, as a gun­man opened fire Thurs­day in­side a high school, killing two class­mates be­fore he ended up dead.

Author­i­ties and other of­fi­cials in the town of Aztec near the Colorado state line have re­leased few de­tails other than to say the shooter and vic­tims at­tended Aztec High School.

No other injuries were re­ported, and it was not clear if the shooter died by sui­cide or was killed by po­lice.

Bryn Di­vine, a se­nior, said she was sit­ting at her desk in her his­tory class when she heard gun­shots erupt down the hall. At first, it sounded as if some­one was swing­ing a metal base­ball bat against the lock­ers.

Then she heard an an­nouncer over the school in­ter­com tell stu­dents: “This is not a drill.”

“I stayed in my desk, and I just prayed, ‘Please just let this be over as soon as pos­si­ble.’ That was my first re­ac­tion,” she said.

Sopho­more Gar­rett Parker told Al­bu­querque tele­vi­sion sta­tion KOAT that he also heard what he thought was bang­ing on the lock­ers. Then it got louder and closer.

“Thank­fully our teacher al­ways locks the door no mat­ter what. So he kept that locked,” Parker said. “When they called over the in­ter­com that it was not a drill, we went to the cor­ner of the room out of sight from the door and just started hid­ing.”

Gov. Su­sana Martinez called the shoot­ing a hei- nous and hor­rific act and told re­porters that teach­ers, school staff mem­bers and law en­force­ment of­fi­cials jumped in quickly to pre­vent more deaths. She didn’t pro­vide more de­tails.

Po­lice re­sponded to the school less than a minute af­ter get­ting the ini­tial calls, which came shortly af­ter the start of the first pe­riod. With the school in lock­down, they got in­side through a win­dow and a door.

Author­i­ties checked each room and each build­ing at the school be­fore the stu­dents were bused to an­other lo­ca­tion, where they were re­united with par­ents.

The high school re­mained cor­doned off as the com­mu­nity pre­pared for a prayer vigil Thurs­day night. Aztec is a ru­ral town of 6,500 peo­ple in oil and gas coun­try.

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