ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department says a West Mesa student was killed Friday morning after a shooting happened near West Mesa High School off-campus. Police say the search for the suspect, who is believed to be a juvenile, continues. They identified the victim as 16-year-old Andrew Burson.
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“This is a tragedy. This is incredibly hard, nothing that I ever wanted to do again and we really need to work together to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Scott Elder.
APD says the shooting happened after 8 a.m. right across the street from West Mesa’s football field. They say Burson left campus just after 8 a.m. and met with the suspect across the street. They say a confrontation broke out and ended with Burson shot and killed.
An APD sergeant tried to act quickly to save Burson’s life, but he died on the scene. The school was put on lockdown and eventually, parents were told to pick up their students.
This is the second shooting this week that has taken place near a high school. On Thursday, police arrested 19-year-old Antonio Santillanes, a high school student who police say shot another teen after a dispute in an alley near Central and 6th St. by the Siembra Leadership Charter School. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
It’s also the second shooting this school year that has left an APS student dead back in August, just one week after the school year started. Thirteen-year-old Bennie Hargrove was shot and killed at Washington Middle School. Police say the shooter, in that case, was 13-year-old Juan Saucedo. They say he took his parents’ gun from their home the morning of the shooting.
The frequency at which this is happening has city officials fed up. On Friday District Attorney Raul Torrez expressed his disappointment in New Mexico lawmakers.
“We offered legislation in this last legislative session that would have made the possession of a firearm by a minor, of a handgun, a felony, and that was blocked in a committee by people who seem so focused on gun rights that they forgot the part about gun safety, about protecting children,” Torrez said.
The suspect is not in custody at this time, but officials believe they are looking for a juvenile. They also believe they know who they are but are waiting for some more information before taking that person into custody.
APD says they are still questioning witnesses. It is unknown at this time if Burson and the suspect knew each other or if there had been any confrontations prior to the shooting. No other information has been released at this time. KRQE News 13 will provide updates as more information is released.