ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nearly two years after Bennie Hargrove was killed, the boy’s family and attorneys now claim a school resource officer missed a chance to intervene before the 13-year-old was shot to death by another student.
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The new allegations are part of an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit against APS. Hargrove’s family claimed another middle school student told a school resource officer that Juan Saucedo Jr. had a gun, sometime before the shooting happened, according to the lawsuit. “We have been waiting two years for one of them to say something, I knew there was something else, but I am hurt too, that it didn’t, the way it happened. I think that maybe it should have been sooner,” said Hargrove’s mother, Collette Wise.
Hargrove was shot and killed on Washington Middle School grounds just outside of the building on August 13, 2021. Saucedo Jr. pled no contest to second-degree murder in the case. Investigators say, Saucedo Jr. brought his dad’s gun to campus, then shot Hargrove after Hargrove stood up to Saucedo for allegedly bullying other students.
Attorneys representing Hargrove’s family said through interviewing students, they learned a school resource officer “ignored” a warning that Saucedo Jr. had a gun. “What we have learned through this investigation is that there was a lot of mismanagement at Washington Middle School and Albuquerque Public Schools as a whole,” said Shane Maier, the attorney representing Hargrove’s family.
Hargrove’s family also claimed there was a lack of staff supervision and insufficient training about gun awareness that led to the shooting. They’re pushing for the school district to make policy changes. A spokeswoman for Albuquerque Public Schools said they can’t comment on the new allegations or the lawsuit right now. The lawsuit is set to go to trial next July.