Sheriff: Heroes saved lives in New Mexico school shooting

High school shooting leaves 2 students dead

The suspect in a deadly New Mexico high school shooting has been identified as 21-year-old William Atchison.

This is Casey Marquez, of of two students shot to death by William Atchison, 21, at Aztec High School, Thursday, December 7, 2017. The identity of the shooter has yet to be released.

Deputies and Lt. Kyle Lincoln from the San Juan County Sheriff Department then helped clear the building and actively searched the school.

Friends were sharing their condolences on Marquez's Facebook page, which displayed photos of the teen in her cheerleading outfit.

Hundreds gathered for prayer services and candlelight vigils and more gatherings are planned over the weekend as residents look for answers.

Authorities planned to release more information Friday.

After shooting both dead, he went on a rampage within the school, walking up and down the hallway and shooting through glass and walls as students and teachers barricaded themselves.

"Work sucks, school sucks, life sucks", his note added, in part. It detailed his plan to wait until the students got off buses and made their way to class. "I just want out of this shit". Then we heard shots again and it was really close.

Custodian Thomas Hall pursued the shooter down the hallways, yelling for teachers to lock their doors. "So he kept that locked", Parker said. "She loved everybody. If anybody was down, she was always there to try to bring them up".

"There were several acts of bravery by staff members, teachers and students that were unbelievable... that actually saved lives", Governor Martinez said. She did not provide any details.

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Police responded to the school less than a minute after getting the initial calls, which came shortly after the start of the first period. As the noise got louder, they realized it was gunshots.

The students inside were quiet, as they were trained to be in a lockdown, according to Potter.

Some people have left flowers outside the school where the roads are still blocked.

David Stone, 16, and Heaven Angelica Hughes, 15, huddled with friends in below-freezing temperatures to light candles and exchange stories. He said one of the victims was his cousin.

Aztec is a city of about 6,000 people in northwest New Mexico, according to the US Census Bureau, and is about a three-hour drive from Albuquerque. Its main street is lined by old brick buildings that date back more than a century.

They also declined to say how many weapons were used or what kinds of weapons were used, and how the incident unfolded. They also were asking any students who might have seen something to call police. The superintendent is not sure if the school will re-open Monday.

"At schools, our primary role and our primary job is to educate students and keep them safe, and when you have something like this, it hits you in the heart", he said.

Aztec High School, about 180 miles north of Albuqurque, N.M., is located in the Four Corners region of the state near the Navajo Nation.

A girl identified as Kendal Sanders, 13, underwent surgery related to her shoulder Tuesday and her condition was upgraded to stable, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said at a press conference.

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