Report: New Mexico teen planned more shootings

 A bouquet of flowers adorns the entrance to a home on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, where a couple and their three young children were found shot to death s...

New Mexico Shooting

A bouquet of flowers adorns the entrance to a home on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, where a couple and their three young children were found shot to death s...

After killing his parents and three younger siblings at home, 15-year-old US boy reloaded an assault rifle and a .22-caliber rifle and planned to go somewhere "populated" and randomly shoot more people until he could be killed in a shootout with law enforcement, authorities said.
Nehemiah Griego was set to appear in adult court Tuesday afternoon on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was arrested Saturday at his family's home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The teen confessed to shooting his mother because he "had anger issues" and was annoyed with her, the charging document said. He said he killed his siblings after they woke up and became upset, then grabbed his parents' assault rifle and waited in the downstairs bathroom to ambush his father.
The case comes amid a fierce debate over gun control in the U.S. President Barack Obama is moving to push through tighter gun ownership laws _ including banning assault weapons _ since the elementary school shooting in Connecticut last month that left 20 young children and six adults dead. Pro-gun groups have vowed to fight the effort, with the most adamant viewing any attempt to impose stricter laws as an assault on the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms.
Detectives in the New Mexico case spent two days collecting evidence and trying to piece together what led to the attacks.
Charging documents said Griego also sent a picture of his dead mother to his girlfriend, and met her and her grandmother at the church where his father used to work.
It wasn't immediately clear if that contact avoided further bloodshed. But a statement of probable cause says Griego spent time at the church, first talking to his girlfriend and her grandmother and then meeting with the church pastor and a security guard.
Church officials called authorities, and Griego initially told arriving officers he had come home Saturday morning after spending time at a friend's house to discover his family dead. He later changed his story, according to a detective's statement.
After killing his father, Griego said he reloaded the guns so "he could drive to a populated area to murder more people," according to the statement.
His plan, the statement said, was to "shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement."
The sheriff's office identified the victims as Greg Griego, 51, his wife, Sarah Griego, 40, and three of their children: a 9-year-old boy, Zephania Griego, and daughters Jael Griego, 5, and Angelina Griego, 2. All appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head.
A sheriff's detective questioned the teen Saturday night, and the details of their conversation were spelled out in the statement.
The teen allegedly told the detective that he took a .22-caliber rifle from his parents' closet around midnight Saturday and shot his mother in the head while his younger brother slept next to her.
Griego told the detective that his brother woke up but did not believe him that their mother was dead, so he showed his mother's bloody face to his brother and then shot him, according to the statement.
The teen is accused of then shooting his two young sisters after they began crying in their room, and retrieving a military-style semi-automatic rifle from his parents' closet and waiting in a downstairs bathroom for his father to come home. The statement said he shot his father multiple times after he passed the bathroom doorway.
Greg Griego was a pastor who had once served at Calvary, one of Albuquerque's largest Christian churches. He also was well-known throughout the law enforcement community for his work as a voluntary chaplain.
Neighbor Terry Wootan described Greg Griego as a man with a big heart. The two sometimes chatted at the mailbox and would wave to each other when passing by. Wootan said Griego told him about his time in California when he was involved in gangs and how he turned his life around and found God.
"What he wanted to do was help people, and he would never quit," Wootan said.
A records check by the Children, Youth and Families Department indicated no problems with the Griego family and that Nehemiah Griego had never been in trouble with the law.
Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Williamson confirmed there was no history of any emergency calls to the home in the recent past.
Associated Press writers Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Paul Davenport in Phoenix contributed to this report.

Updated : 2021-02-26 18:29 GMT+08:00