RIO RANCHO, N.M. — A shot was fired Thursday on the grounds of a suburban Albuquerque high school on the first anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre, but police and school officials said no one was injured and a suspect was in custody.
The V. Sue Cleveland High School in the community of Rio Rancho was evacuated, police said, and worried parents rushed to the school after getting calls from their children.
School officials said on Twitter that all students were safe and that “the weapon involved has been recovered and the suspect is in custody.” The district’s other schools were open.
Parent Kristy Berberich said outside the high school that her 16-year-old son called her immediately after students heard a gunshot.
“I was worried sick but I knew he was safe,” she said.
Police and school officials advised parents to stay away from the school and to await word on a plan to pick up students, who were taken to an arena about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the school.
The incident comes as thousands of students and others planned a moment of silence to remember the 14 students and three staff members killed last Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the deadliest high school shooting in the nation’s history.
That tragedy — along with a deadly shooting at New Mexico’s Aztec High School in December 2017 — is helping to fuel debate in the state Legislature over an ambitious slate of bills related to firearms and school safety.
The arrival in January of a Democratic governor to succeed a pro-gun rights Republican has opened the door to calls for broader background checks on private gun sales and initiatives to remove firearms from the hands of people who may be suicidal or seen as a danger to others.
The gun-seizure measure was passed by the Democrat-led House late Wednesday following an emotionally charged debate. Outside the House chamber, about 30 high-school aged students gathered in the Capitol rotunda to mark the anniversary of the Parkland massacre. They received praise from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for pushing peacefully for new gun-safety regulations.
Additional initiatives would ensure teachers cannot carry firearms at schools and expand child neglect laws to encompass the secure storage of household firearms.
In Rio Rancho, school buses shuttled students to the nearby event center as police cordoned off the school and blocked roads leading to the campus. While no details were immediately released about the suspect in custody or the circumstances of the gunshot, police planned a briefing later Thursday.