What a senseless tragedy.
A popular cheerleader and football player were killed on Thursday when a gunman broke into a high school in Aztec, New Mexico and opened fire.
21-year-old William Atchison disguised himself as a student, hiding weapons in his backpack and snuck into Aztec High School where classes had just started their first session of the day. Atchison headed straight for the bathroom where he pulled out his weapons when he encountered his first innocent victim. According to a local TV station, Francisco “Paco” Fernandez—a junior who had recently transferred to the school—walked in the bathroom where Atchison shot him.
The gunman then walked out into the hall where he ran into popular cheerleading captain, Casey Jordan-Marquez, and killed her. Upon hearing the shots, teachers began locking their doors and hiding their students. The intercom announced the school was on lockdown, saying "this is not a drill."
The gunman walked into a classroom where a teacher and students had barricaded themselves behind a couch. He shot a round but miraculously no one was injured. The gunman eventually took his own life.
According to reports, the killer worked a local gas station but was a former Aztec High student. The morning of the shooting, Atchison posted this message online:
"If things go according to plan, today would be when I die.
I wait until the school buses are detected, then head on foot disguised as a student.
I go somewhere and gear up, then hold a class hostage and go ape-s**t, then blow my brains out.
Work sucks, school sucks, life sucks.
I just want out of this s**t."
The small town of 7,000 was stunned by the tragedies and held a candleight vigil for the two young victims who had their whole lives ahead of them.
On Facebook, Casey Jordan-Marquez's older sister Keana posted, saying
"This isn’t easy to post. Today we lost our little sister Casey in a horrific act of evilness. She woke up and got ready for school to have a normal day and knowing the sweet and bubbly self she is I know she walked in to see her friends with a smile on her face. Her life was cut short but I know she lived it to the fullest and shared so much love with her family and the people around her. I wish I could hold you and tell you I love you one more time. Not a day will go by that I don’t think of you and remember your beautiful bright smile. We will miss you so much sweet baby sister."
The father of Francisco “Paco” Fernandez is understandably in shock telling a local station he was "traumatized" by his son's murder and was still trying to come to terms with a Christmas without his son saying there were still presents waiting for him under the tree.