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Last updated on Wednesday, January 15, 2014
(ROSWELL, N.M.) - A shooter opened fire Tuesday morning at a middle school in the southeastern New Mexico city of Roswell, injuring at least two students before being taken into custody.
Officials at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, say a 14-year-old boy was flown there in critical condition and a 13-year-old girl was en route in serious condition. Information from nurses treating the boy indicates he was the shooter's target, hospital spokesman Eric Finley said.
Police say the suspect opened fire at Berrendo Middle School as classes were starting for the day. A statement from the state police said authorities responded at 8:11 a.m.
Lorena Beltran told the Albuquerque Journal her daughter, who attends the school, said a male student was shot in the face.
Roswell police say the school was placed on lockdown, and the suspected shooter was arrested. Age and other details on the suspect were not immediately released.
Police said children were bused to a nearby mall, where parents could pick up them up.
Sixth-grade student Anyssa Vegara said she was talking to a security guard when she heard a shot.
"I turned around, and all I saw was someone on the floor with their arm bleeding," Vegara told the Journal.
She said the security guard ran to assist the injured student, and school officials ordered all the students to their classrooms.
Eventually, she was able to text her mother, Monica Vegara.
"From the time hearing about it until the time she texted, it was a nightmare," Monica Vegara said.
Fawna Hendricks, whose son is a seventh-grader at Berrendo Middle School, told the newspaper she heard about the shooting on the radio. "Basically I jumped outta bed, threw on clothes, panicked," Hendricks said.
Employees who arrived early to work at United Drilling Inc., across the street from the school, heard no gunshots. They didn't know about the commotion until around 8 a.m., when their parking lot filled with police and rescue vehicles.
At the Roswell mall, parents waited anxiously for their children. Some held hands, while others hugged each other.
Roswell has a population of about 50,000. It is a center for ranching and farming, and is home to the New Mexico Military Institute, the only state-supported military college in the West. The city is perhaps best-known as the site of an alleged UFO crash in 1947.
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