New Mexico Shots Fired Outside High School

A gunshot fired outside a high school volleyball game earlier this week is believed to have been an isolated occurrence and not a sign of increasing school violence, Las Cruces Public Schools officials said.

The handgun was fired into the air Tuesday night after a handful of teenage students began fighting in a parking lot after a girls volleyball game between Las Cruces High School and San Andres alternative high school in Mesilla, police said.

A suspect was taken by police from Las Cruces High School on Wednesday, but authorities haven’t released any details on the person.

School district spokeswoman Jo Galvan said it’s not known if the person who fired the gun was involved in the fight.

Because of low attendance – 151 people were at the game – Galvan said there were no police or security guards working the event. In addition, there are no security cameras on the north parking lot, where the affray occurred.

“At games like this volleyball game, with very light attendance, we normally do not have a school police officer there,” Galvan said. “Many times, there’s not even a security guard. School principals are the ones who do most of that supervision on those events.”

Galvan said it was unknown if that policy will change.

LCHS principal Nyeta Haines declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

Unlike a prior shooting at a school event, Tuesday’s event is not believed to be related to gang activity. Almost four years ago, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg while attending a high school football game at the Field of Dreams.

Security director Todd Gregory said the Las Cruces High School campus is safe, but the schools will likely increase security at future games.

“We always have someone working, even if it’s just an administrator at the smaller games, but we’ll look at having the campus guards, to have visible presence,” he said.

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