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School buses hit with BB gun, Española police say

Kai Porter
October 04, 2017 06:30 PM

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. -- Police in northern New Mexico say someone with a BB gun shot at two school buses full of high schoolers Tuesday night, and two students were hurt when they were hit by flying glass from shattered windows.

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Both of those school buses were transporting volleyball teams following games, one team from Peñasco and the other from Questa. The first shooting happened around 8:30 Tuesday night on Fairview Lane, and the second bus was hit moments later. None of the students were seriously hurt.

Pictures show two windows shattered on the Peñasco school bus. About 15 players with the high school girls volleyball team headed home from a game in Española when it happened.

"One of the BBs did have enough force to go through the window which shattered the glass and actually injured one of the passengers," detective Manuel Romero said.

Rubel Romero’s 15-year-old daughter was on the Peñasco school bus. He said she and another student were hurt but not seriously.

"She had a couple scratches on her hand from where flying glass caught her and one of her classmates and friends had a few scratches on her face," he said. "Other than that, there were no major injuries."

Detective Romero said the same thing happened about 10 minutes later to the Questa school bus across town on North Riverside Drive. That bus transported about 20 students from a volleyball game in Santa Fe.

"This falls along the lines of an aggravated battery and, yes, a pellet gun can be deadly [and] can be considered a deadly weapon," he said. "So these are very serious charges that this person would be facing."

Additional pictures show the BB hit a back window on the Questa bus. Police say one student on that bus was also hurt by broken glass.

Police are still investigating if the buses were targeted.

"The way it stands right now, it seems like they were just a target of opportunity," Detective Romero said, "but that can change."

Strangely, police say someone also shot out eight windows at Los Niños Kindergarten School behind James H. Rodriguez Elementary School around the same time. Detectives believe all three shootings are related.

"As of right now, we’re doing everything that we possibly can," Detective Romero said. "This is our priority case right now. We’re going around to local businesses reviewing video footage with timelines and witness statements to see if we can’t identify a suspect vehicle."

Detectives say they don’t know what the shooter’s motive is at this point, but they’re asking anyone with information to come forward.

Parent Rubel Romero is just thankful it wasn’t worse.

"It could have hit one of the girls in the head, in the eye or something," he said. "It’s just unbelievable."

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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