Three people are dead and at least 15 are injured following a shooting at a high school in Aztec, New Mexico on Thursday morning.
According to reports, Aztec High School was placed on lockdown and evacuated earlier in the day. Authorities said a shooter had been identified but is “no longer with us” and indicated the suspect in question had died.
Families and friends of students of Aztec High School are gathered outside city hall, following a shooting at the school@KOB4 pic.twitter.com/7kjG7ZNITV
— Meg Hilling (@meghilling) December 7, 2017
San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the three victims were believed to be students; Aztec Police Chief Mike Heal initially told reporters that two people had been injured, along with the shooter. New Mexico State Police officials later said the shooter was among those killed.
No status update has been given on the 15 people who were injured.
Updated information: 1 suspect shooter is deceased. 2 students are deceased. No other injuries reported. The school has been evacuated. #Aztecschoolshooting
— NMSP (@NMStatePolice) December 7, 2017
Aztec is located in northwestern New Mexico, near Navajo Nation territory. The tribe addressed the tragedy in a statement Thursday.
“It’s tragic when our children are harmed in violent ways, especially on school campuses,” Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye said. “We express our condolences to those families who have been harmed. Our prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy and everyone throughout the San Juan County. We are asking for prayers for these families.”
Neighboring Bloomfield and Farmington high schools were also reportedly put on lockdown Thursday, as a precaution; the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office reminded Aztec residents to stay away from Aztec High School itself.
State and federal authorities said an investigation into the shooting is currently underway.
The incident comes one day after lawmakers on Capitol Hill passed a House bill easing local gun restrictions and allowing concealed carry permit-holders to more easily transport their weapons across state lines. The bill, which was endorsed by both the National Rifle Association (NRA) and President Trump, passed 231 to 198. It now moves to the Senate, where it’s likely to be met with fierce opposition.
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