Santa Fe community reacts to death of star high school basketball player

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The search for the person responsible for killing a Santa Fe high school basketball star is over. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested a 16-year-old for allegedly shooting and killing JB White early Saturday morning.

The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office said they responded to a shooting at a house party near the Chupadero and Tesuque area around 3:30 Saturday morning. They said White got into a fight with 16-year-old Estevan Mateo Montoya, before Montoya ended up shooting and killing White.

Many knew White as the young basketball star at Santa Fe High School, committed to play for the Lobos this season. KRQE spoke to one woman who told us her grandson was classmates with White. She said her grandson said White had a great personality and was very kind, which makes it even more difficult to hear the news about his tragic passing.

“I couldn’t imagine, I just couldn’t even imagine,” said Margaret Rodriguez.  “My heart just fell to the ground and my thoughts and prayers to the family. It’s just a horrible thing to hear on the news.” 

The superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools and the Santa Fe High School principal both shared their condolences with White’s family through a press release earlier Saturday, saying in part they’re, “shocked and saddened by the loss” and said “he will be greatly missed.”

The release said the district is offering free behavioral health support services to students and families during this difficult time.

Deputies said this is still an ongoing investigation. Montoya has been charged, and is being held at the Santa Fe Juvenile Detention Center.

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