Five shot dead in Albuquerque, teen charged

Jan 20, 2013 - 1 Comment

Jan. 20, 2013 Reuters

SANTA FE, New Mexico - A teenage boy with several weapons including an assault rifle shot and killed five people, three of them children, at a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said on Sunday.

The boy, whose exact age had yet to be determined, was arrested and charged with the killings which took place late Saturday night, said Aaron Williamson, a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputy.

"The victims all had multiple gunshot wounds, and there appeared to be multiple weapons, including an assault type weapon," Williamson said.

The children appeared to be "elementary- to middle-school age," Williamson said. The boy was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death, he said.

He said it had not been determined whether the weapons were from inside the house or brought from somewhere else.

It also was not yet clear whether the five people killed were related or what the relationship was between the teen and the victims.

The nation remains on edge about gun violence after a man killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school in December using an assault rifle, sparking a renewed debate about gun control.

President Barack Obama has proposed a new assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun buyers, and New York on Tuesday broadened its assault weapons ban and restricted the allowed capacity for ammunition magazines.

Several other states also are considering whether to tighten gun controls.

The use of assault weapons is legal in New Mexico, although state lawmakers are considering bills that would tighten gun control laws and require background checks for nearly anyone buying a firearm.

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New Mexico officials are trying to determine why a teenager opened fire with an assault rifle on his family this weekend, killing his parents and three young siblings.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, used the assault rifle to kill his father, Greg Griego, 51, a pastor at Calvary Church in Albuquerque, and mother, Sara Griego, age 40, as well as the three younger siblings, ages 9, 5, and 2, said officials in Bernalillo County, N.M.

Police said that multiple firearms were found at Griego's home after the attack, including an assault rifle.

Nehemiah Griego has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder, and three counts of child abuse resulting in death, according to the Bernalillo's Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's deputies said they received an emergency call around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, and arrived to find all of victims with gunshot wounds, according to ABC News affiliate KOAT.

"There's no other way to say it, except that we have a horrific crime scene down there that we are working on," Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston told KOAT.

Officials from Calvary Church, where Greg Griego acted as pastor, said that the family were deeply involved in the church and loved by the community, according to the report.

Greg Griego's brother, Eric, a former city councilor in Albuquerque and state legislator, released a statement Saturday about the murder.

"Our family is grieving this terrible tragedy. We appreciate the prayers and support we have received and request that the media honor our family's privacy during this difficult time," the statement read.

The sheriff's office declined to given any other details on the murder today, citing the investigation. They will hold a press conference Tuesday, where they are expected to release more information.

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