Albuquerque police: School shooting suspect bullied other students

·2 min read

Aug. 15—A 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a fellow student at a middle school in downtown Albuquerque was trying to stop the gunman from bullying his friends, according to a criminal complaint filed late Friday in juvenile court.

Juan Saucedo, 13, is charged with murder in the death of his classmate, Bennie Hargrove. He also faces a count of unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises.

Police said Saucedo brought a handgun to Washington Middle School in his backpack and showed it to other students Friday morning.

That afternoon, Saucedo was approached by Hargrove, who told him to leave his friends alone. On Thursday, Saucedo beat up a friend of Hargrove's, a witness told detectives.

When Hargrove confronted Saucedo on Friday, Saucedo pulled a gun from his waistband and shot him, police said.

A school resource officer heard loud pops and thought someone was lighting fireworks. She then saw students running and heard a girl scream, "He has a gun," according to the complaint.

The school resource officer saw Saucedo holding a gun as he stood over Hargrove. She put Saucedo in handcuffs and rendered aid to Hargrove, who later was pronounced dead at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

When police took Saucedo into custody, he said, "Tell my mom I'm sorry." When officers at the police station offered him food, he said: "I don't deserve to eat," according to the complaint.

Saucedo's father told police he noticed his gun was missing Friday. He called his wife and asked if she had taken it, but she said she hadn't.

When he drove by his son's school that afternoon, he saw a crush of patrol cars and fire trucks. He also saw police place his son in handcuffs, according to the complaint.

Friday marked the third day of classes for Albuquerque's public school district. School officials said staff will be making preparations to ensure students have access to counseling and any other support services they need.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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