Education

Transfer student threatened school shooting

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 10/17/19

Reassurances from Taos Police Chief David Trujillo and Taos Municipal Schools Superintendent Dr. Lillian Torrez that a threat a transfer student made against Taos Middle School last week was “not credible” did not specify the seriousness of the threat — that of a plan to carry out a school shooting.

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Education

Transfer student threatened school shooting

Posted

Reassurances from Taos Police Chief David Trujillo and Taos Municipal Schools Superintendent Dr. Lillian Torrez that a threat a transfer student made against Taos Middle School last week was “not credible” did not specify the seriousness of the threat — that of a plan to carry out a school shooting.

A Taos Central Dispatch report indicates that the student, who Trujillo said is from Las Cruces, had planned to bring a handgun to the middle school, “hidden in his waistband,” and was going to use it to shoot at other students, including one student in particular, whom the report did not identify.

The dispatch report was made to Taos Police Department on Oct. 9; by Friday morning (Oct. 11), word of the threat had spread throughout the community, stoking fears among student and parents at both the middle and high school.

At least two parents at the middle school called law enforcement that morning before dropping their children off for classes, requesting that officers be present. Word of the threat spread quickly on social media, at some point creating confusion that the threat had also been directed at the high school.

Trujillo responded by ordering students and staff to shelter in place while he and his department investigated the threat. Torrez told the Taos News on Friday that the transfer student had threatened “to do whatever he had to do” to not attend the middle school in Taos. Torrez did not explain that the student had planned a shooting. Trujillo simply said that the threat was deemed “not credible” after it had gone “viral” on social media.

Asked for further clarity this week, however, Trujillo said he made that determination after learning the “juvenile in question was located in southern New Mexico” last Friday and that steps were being taken to “find alternative education” for the student.

Torrez said that the student had been scheduled for a disciplinary hearing for another, earlier incident at a school in Las Cruces, when his mother suggested he transfer to Taos Middle School. The superintendent did not know what the other incident entailed. Torrez said the student made the threat when he learned that the district in Taos would also seek disciplinary measures.

As of press time Wednesday (Oct. 16), there was no longer any plan in place to transfer the student to Taos.

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