Roswell school shooting victim speaks to students

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ROSWELL, N.M. – More than nine years after the first school shooting in New Mexico, one of the victims went back to Roswell’s Berrendo Middle School to speak to students. 

Nathaniel Tavarez was one of two students shot and injured by a 12-year-old who showed up at the school with a gun. This visit was to get students to relate to each other and stop bullying.

“This is where the shooter was standing when he opened fire,” said Tavarez. 

Tavarez talked about the day of the shooting and his personal story, but he focused a lot of the presentation on bullying, and mental health.

“The presentation will actually consist of telling a little bit of my story, offer my perspective,” said Nathaniel Tavarez.  

He says the student that opened fire was bullied, and now he wants to raise awareness and provide resources. 

“Whether students are in school or at home on those devices. They are always open to recovering some type of bullying, some type of negative feelings or negative words and even actions from other students,” said Tavarez.  

Tavarez hopes the demonstration will get children to think twice before being rude to another student. 

“If they have to take away one specific thing it would really be to treat others in a way that you truly feel they are a friend. Mainly, students feel that they don’t truly have a friend. When it comes to treating everybody like a friend that’s how we can truly find a way to eliminate bullying,” Tazarez said. 

He says it was important to come to Berrendo first. Tazarez will spend the rest of the week presenting at other schools around town. 

Law enforcement agencies have been training for active shooter situations for decades, but how did the first school shooting in New Mexico change that?

“Because of this we are much better prepared in the event that it ever does happen. For example, where to take the kids, we did not have a plan in place or how to get them there,” said Joe Smith, RPS interim chief of police. 

Watch the video above and below for more.

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