By now, you’ve probably heard of the shooting that took place at Washington Middle School in Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday. Or maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about it. I didn’t hear about it until today. When I first scanned the headlines, I thought, ‘at least it was only one child that was killed.’ Then I immediately wondered what the fuck is wrong with me. Why would I think that? But for over 20 years we’ve been dealing with mass school shootings from Columbine to Parkland that have had body counts in the double digits. So, when a school shooting today only results in one fatality, we almost instinctively look at it as a good thing.
Except, it’s far from a good thing. It’s a tragedy, in fact. Two families just lost their sons, one to gun violence, and the other to the justice system. Two 13-year-old boys, I might add. Again, in my opinion, this is another problem with the gun culture in America, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Yesterday, 13-year-old Juan Saucedo shot and killed 13-year-old Bennie Hargrove outside during lunchtime. Pay attention now because this is important. Bennie Hargrove, the victim, went up to Saucedo, the aggressor, and told Saucedo to stop bullying Hargrove’s friends. Hargrove, the victim, was trying to get Saucedo, the shooter, to stop bullying other kids. Saucedo took out the gun and shot Bennie Hargrove six times. Hargrove later died from his wounds at the University of New Mexico hospital. So, as it is with most school shootings, the shooter was actually the bully, before and most certainly during the shooting.
The next question I always have when it comes to school shootings anymore is, where did the shooter get the gun? We actually have an answer this time around. Saucedo allegedly took it from his father. Saucedo’s father allegedly said that he noticed the gun missing around noon, and his wife said that she didn’t take it. By the time Saucedo’s father got to the school, the shooting had already taken place. I haven’t read anything about how the gun may have been secured, or unsecured, as the case may be. In my time writing about these shootings, it’s very rare for parents who allow their guns to be used in school shootings to be prosecuted for their negligence.
If it’s not worth it in prosecutors’ eyes to bring these negligent gun owners to justice, then maybe the laws need to be changed. Examples need to be made to even attempt to keep guns out of the hands of school children.
I haven’t read yet if Saucedo will be charged as an adult, but he should be. He has been charged with an open count of murder and unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises.
As usual, I’ll post further information as it becomes available, and as time allows.