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New Mexico Shooter Was Interviewed by the FBI in 2016

Ravonelle Yazzie/Navajo Times

Authorities continue to investigate yesterday’s shooting at a high school in northwestern New Mexico that left two students and the suspect dead. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the shooter was a former student at the school.

According to police, the 21-year-old was able to blend in with students as they entered Aztec High Thursday morning. He apparently shot the victims at random before entering classrooms where students and staff were sheltered in place. Police responded in less than a minute, and the shooter then took his own life. No other injuries were reported.

Credit Russell Contreras/AP
A candlelight vigil was held in Aztec, N.M. Thursday night following the shooting.

"This was a planned event. The gun he used was a Glock pistol that he purchased locally and legally," said San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christensen at a Friday press conference.

Investigators haven’t identified a motive, but say he intended to commit suicide. FBI agents interviewed the suspect last year after he made comments about mass shootings on an online gaming forum. That investigation was closed with no charges filed.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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