Father of middle school murder suspect has history of shooting near a school

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police say the father of the Washington Middle School shooting suspect was involved in a fight that turned into a shooting outside another Albuquerque school in 2018. On Friday, August 13, police arrested 13-year-old Juan Saucedo Jr. at Washington Middle School on a murder charge.

Juan’s father, Juan Saucedo Sr, reportedly told police Juan took his gun from home. This isn’t the first time the Saucedo family has brought a gun near a school.

In April 2018, KRQE reported there was a feud-turned-shooting between Saucedo Senior and another father in the pick-up line of Highland High School, just off of school property. Court documents and police lapel video revealed that mean looks and a confrontation escalated to Saucedo throwing a punch, while the other man grabbed a baseball bat. It eventually ended with Saucedo shooting and injuring the other man in the hand and thigh. At the time, Albuquerque Police seemed certain that both men would face charges.

“There’s a dueling charge, it’s rarely used, a dueling charge – ‘felony public affray’ – meaning that when you get involved in a fight on a public street and you bring weapons involved, it kicks up to a felony level,” said Ofc. Simon Drobik, who worked at the Albuquerque Police Dept. at the time. 

The District Attorney’s Office never filed any charges saying both men were culpable but had valid self-defense claims. The DA’s office said he also couldn’t be charged with bringing a weapon on school grounds because they weren’t on the school campus.

KRQE also reported that Saucedo and his wife Luz Saucedo, who was present at the 2018 shooting, were also the subjects of a civil personal injury lawsuit for a fight at Zuni Elementary in November 2015. That case was later dismissed. 

In a statement, APD Chief Harold Medina said: 

“Given the father’s history, our detectives are looking at every factor that may have contributed to Friday’s tragic shooting. It is not acceptable that a child had access to a gun and took it to school.

This is the second incident in two days in which a student took a loaded gun to school. Fortunately, the previous incident at a charter middle school did not result in tragedy. 

Gun violence can be prevented. If you are a gun owner, be responsible, secure your guns, and keep our kids safe.”

APD Chief Harold Medina

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