ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 15-year-old boy remained in custody Sunday night as detectives tried to piece together what led to the shootings of five people, including three children, who were found dead in a New Mexico home.
The teenager was arrested on murder and other charges in connection with the shootings, which happened Saturday night at the home in a rural area southwest of downtown Albuquerque, said Lt. Sid Covington, a Bernalillo County sheriff’s spokesman.
Detectives did not immediately release the victims’ names, but word of the shootings traveled quickly through the law enforcement community, and officials began offering their condolences for Greg Griego, a spiritual leader known for his work with firefighters and the 13 years he spent as a volunteer chaplain at the county jail.
“Chaplain Griego was a dedicated professional that passionately served his fellow man and the firefighters of this community,” Fire Chief James Breen said in a statement. “His calming spirit and gentle nature will be greatly missed.”
Lt. Covington said detectives were working to positively identify the five victims as well as the teenager’s relationship to them.
“Right now, we’re to the meticulous points of processing the scene and collecting physical evidence, and this is a vast scene with a lot of physical evidence,” he said.
Authorities said each victim suffered more than one gunshot wound, and several guns were found at the home, one of which was a semi-automatic military-style rifle. Investigators were trying to determine who owned the guns.
Authorities also declined to release details of any conversation that the 15-year-old had with investigators. The teenager was booked on two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.
The Associated Press is withholding the suspect’s name during the initial investigation because he is a juvenile.
On Sunday, a police roadblock cut off public access to the narrow dirt road that leads to the home. Detectives were still processing the crime scene Sunday afternoon.
Peter Gomez, a 54-year-old carpenter who lives about 200 yards from the home, said he saw police vehicles and ambulances arrive Saturday night.
Mr. Gomez said he doesn’t know the family that lives at the house, but he has seen a married couple and their two boys and two girls from time to time.
“It’s a horrible thing,” Mr. Gomez said. “You see all this stuff that happens all over the country, the shootings in the schools and theaters, and then it happens right here. It’s sad.”
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