Suspect in New Mexico High School Shooting ID’d as William Atchison

December 8, 2017 Updated: December 8, 2017    

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

Atchison is accused of killing two people and injuring about a dozen more in a “planned event,” San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christiansen told KRQE.

“NMSP Chief Kassetas says they believe the victims were not specifically targeted, but ‘in the wrong place as the wrong time,’” he said.

The shooter blended in with Aztec High School students and got inside the facility as buses were arriving. Then, he entered the school and walked into a second-floor bathroom to prepare for the shooting.

Atchison shot Francisco “Paco” Fernandez when he entered the bathroom in an ambush-style attack, police said. Then, he shot and killed the second victim, Casey Jordan-Marquez in the hallway, officials said, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Atchison went inside a computer lab and opened fire, shooting through a wall. No bullets hit students.

Then, he turned a gun on himself as officers arrived.

Atchison purchased the gun he used legally and locally, police said.

“This person is not only a coward, he is evil,” Christesen said, according to the Journal. “In my mind there are so many things wrong with this.”

Police found a thumb drive with an apparent statement from the shooter. It was dated on Dec. 7, 2017.

According to KRQE, the statement read as follows:

If things go according to plan, today would be when I die.
I wait until the school buses are detected, then head out on foot disguised as a student.
I go somewhere and gear up, then hold a class hostage and go ape-[expletive], then blow my brains out.

Work suck, school sucks, life sucks.

I just want out of this [expletive].

[Expletive] this state, it really is bad. Think I’m insane? I’m actually more rational, peaceful and less loony than a majority of the citizenry of this entire region.

Another note found in a trash can at his home contained plans for the shooting.

Atchison lived in Aztec with his parents, officials said, KRQE reported.

In 2016, police got a tip after Atchison posted a threatening message on an online gaming website. He and his parents were interviewed.

 

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