New Mexico School Shooting: Teacher Hailed for Persuading Suspect to Drop Gun

A New Mexico middle school teacher has been credited with saving many lives when he persuaded a 12-year-old boy into dropping his shotgun after he had wounded two students, according to officials.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said more students could’ve been injured if not for the heroics of teacher John Masterson, who confronted the alleged shooter Tuesday morning inside the gymnasium at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, N.M.

“He starts to turn and see that the young man shoots and shoots, and then pointing the firearm at Mr. Masterson,” Martinez said at a Tuesday night news conference. “Mr. Masterson then begins to talk to him — to put it down. The young man put the gun down and raised his hands.”

A girl identified as Kendal Sanders, 13, underwent surgery Tuesday night and her condition has been upgraded to stable, Martinez said. She suffered injuries to her right shoulder.
An 11-year-old boy is in critical condition after suffering more serious injuries to his face and neck. The young victim underwent a second surgery during the day, according to Martinez. The family of the boy wished to not disclose his name.

The suspected shooter, a seventh-grader whom police have not named, was transferred to an Albuquerque psychiatric hospital after a hearing Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, citing attorney Robert Gorence, who is representing his family.

Gorence said the family will release a statement later today.

Authorities have preliminary though unconfirmed information that possibly some of the students were warned by the suspect prior to the shooting not to go to school, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said.

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