2 killed, suspect dead in shooting at high school in New Mexico

AZTEC, NM (RNN) - Three people are dead, including the shooter, in a shooting at a high school Thursday. 

New Mexico State Police said via Twitter that the two people killed were students at Aztec High School but provided no additional information on them. They did not identify the suspected shooter as a student at the school or say how the suspect died.

Gov. Susana Martinez spoke at a news conference in Aztec after the shooting to say that state agencies are at the disposal of the town of 6,500 in the northwest corner of the state in Navajo Nation.

The department of education is allotting $120,000 for security, counselors, social workers and anything else the community needs.

"Lift our families and our neighbors up," she asked the people of New Mexico. "Healing and peace will take time. Lift those who need to be lifted."

She said that Aztec Police Chief Mike Heal forced his way into the school to "make sure that the situation was minimized while other kids were hiding." 

"Children hiding in classrooms, in teachers' offices, under desks - I cannot imagine what they went through," she said.

One student described the scene to KOAT.

"The intercom came on and our ... dean of students told us that we needed to go to lockdown; it wasn't a drill," said Mariah Berry Hill, a student, to KOAT. "So everybody started to get scared, and my teacher locked all the doors and put us in the corner in the dark. I didn't know what was going on, and so everyone just sat there really, really scared. 

"And then my teacher finally told us that she got news that there was an active shooter."

Heal said the victims and the shooter will not be identified Thursday pending full identification and informing families.

Heal told the news conference that the Aztec police responded to the school in less than a minute, or else things would have been worse.

"There were no other injuries," Heal said in response to rumors of casualties. "We have very few facts, that's what we know. We won't have more to say until we have real information we can share.

The FBI is involved in the case, the governor said. She added that she had spoken to the White House, which pledged federal resources if necessary.

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