I originally posted about the shooting at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico here. On Valentine’s Day 2019 it’s alleged that 16-year-old Joshua Owen took his parents’ handgun to the school and tried to shoot three people. Instead, the gun wouldn’t fire but Owen was said to have discharged a round into the air. Thankfully, no one was injured.
In my initial post, I mentioned how Owen’s parents were one of the few to be charged for not securing a gun that was later used at a school. Joshua Owen had previously made threatening statements, however, when interviewed by police, Owen’s parents denied having a firearm in the home. That firearm that they didn’t have was allegedly kept unsecured on the top shelf of their bedroom closet because you know, no kid ever checks there for anything. I wonder if they keep their money under their mattress too. Dale and Tamara Owen are still facing fourth-degree felony charges. But we’re not really here to talk about them today.
Today, we’re here to talk about Joshua Owen himself. His charges for firing the gun at the school have been dropped. Just like that. It’s not like they found evidence that Owen didn’t actually fire the gun or anything like that. Instead, the charges were dropped because a psychiatric hospital in New Mexico refused to take him in. Owen was found incompetent to stand trial. A judge ordered him into a treatment program but the facility that was supposed to take him said they don’t take minors who are there involuntarily. Under New Mexico law, if treatment can’t be found the suspect must be released.
So, someone who took a gun to school, fired it, and allegedly had a to-do list that said he wanted to kill his ex, other people, and then himself is now out free with no orders to find treatment.
I don’t know who this reflects more poorly on, the New Mexico justice system, or the American Healthcare system.