Tue. Feb 25th, 2020

Family files lawsuit over deadly New Mexico school shooting

AZTEC (KSMX)- The family of a New Mexico student who was killed when a gunman opened fire inside Aztec High School in 2017 is suing the school district and police, saying more could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

Casey Jordan Marquez’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week in state district court. School officials and police have declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Marquez and classmate Francisco “Paco” Fernandez were killed shortly after school started on Dec. 7, 2017.

The 21-year-old gunman, William Atchison, ambushed Fernandez in a bathroom and then encountered Marquez in the hallway. Both teens were shot multiple times before the gunman walked the hall, firing randomly. He then killed himself as students and teachers took cover in their classrooms.

The shooting prompted state lawmakers to allocate more money for infrastructure projects to improve school security, such as fencing and controlled entrances.

The lawsuit details what Marquez’s family described as failures on the part of school officials, such as never implementing the recommendations of a 2013 campus security assessment and not reporting the shooter’s 2012 suspension for “memorializing” the Columbine High School shooters on a classroom whiteboard.

It also claims that police in 2016 failed to forward information on a targeted threat against Aztec High School to district officials or the school resource officer and that the FBI put the wrong member of the shooter’s family in that threat warning.

The Aztec school board, Superintendent Kirk Carpenter, the city of Aztec, the police department, Police Chief Mike Heal and Captain Troy Morris are listed as defendants.

Albuquerque attorney Luis Robles will be representing Marquez’s family.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.