West Mesa HS students found with weapons on campus

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two West Mesa High School students will face charges and expulsion after authorities reportedly found them on campus with weapons Thursday morning.

Albuquerque Public Schools officials say the school went into a shelter-in-place around 10:20 a.m. Thursday. Police responded and took the students into custody.

One of the students is 18-year-old Omar Martinez. District reps said a parent called police saying their child may have a gun on them.

Police say they asked Martinez to put his hands in the air, and when he did, they saw a handgun in his waistband. They later determined that gun had a magazine with 15 bullets, and one in the chamber.

Martinez allowed officers to search his backpack, where they allegedly found another magazine with 22 bullets.

APS police then learned another student was also carrying a gun.

APS will expel the students for one calendar year, and police say they plan on pressing charges against Martinez and the other student.


School officials said Thursday they’ve confiscated five guns on campus just this school year. They also said someone reported all of the incidents this year to authorities.

Officials stated weapons on campus are becoming a problem. In response, they plan to offer new education about the risks and dangers of bringing weapons on campus.

West Mesa High School has dealt with multiple shooting incidents over the last year:

  • March 2023: A 15-year-old student was shot near the school and suffered non-life-threatening injuries
  • December 2022: Police arrested a student after a gun accidentally went off in class. There were no injuries

Recently, Marco Trejo took a plea deal for the February 2022 shooting death of 16-year-old Andrew Burson. They were each students at West Mesa High School.

Trejo, who was 14 at the time, shot Andrew near the school. Court documents showed Andrew was trying to get his gun back from Trejo, when Trejo shot him five times, killing him.

Trejo will serve five years at the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center as part of the plea agreement.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement Thursday:

“I am incredibly relieved that these weapons were safely recovered from these students. But we know that aside from the physical harm that guns can inflict, when firearms are brought on school campuses students feel scared, traumatized – and certainly unable to focus on learning. Gun violence – and the near-constant threat of gun violence – is wreaking havoc on the psyches of our youth.

We must treat gun violence as the epidemic it truly is – and ‘epidemic’ is not an exaggeration. Guns are the leading cause of death among New Mexico’s children. 

I am thankful for the quick response of Albuquerque Public Schools, as well as the parent who did the right thing by calling in a tip that led staff to one of the firearms – but the bottom line is that all of us have to do more to make sure kids don’t have such easy access to guns. Every one of us has a responsibility to make sure students are safe at school. I am clear: whether we are talking about juveniles or criminals, it is far too easy for the wrong people to get their hands on guns.

Schools should be among the safest places for children, and I am committed to continuing to provide resources to schools to improve security, safety and wellbeing.”