'Get down!' Gunfire erupts at New Mexico high school

Aztec High School students and area residents gather for a candlelight vigil in Aztec, N.M., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, after a shooting at the high scho

People gather for a vigil at St. Joseph Church in Aztec, N.M., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Students hid in their classrooms, some behind locked doors or i

Aztec High School is shown in Aztec, N.M., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Students hid in their classrooms, some behind locked doors or in closets, as a gunm

People gather for a vigil at St. Joseph Church in Aztec, N.M., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, Students hid in their classrooms, some behind locked doors or

Students are led out of Aztec High School after a shooting Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Aztec, N.M. The school is in the Four Corners region and is near

Police escort buses moving students and faculty from Aztec High School after a shooting Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Aztec, N.M. (Jon Austria /The Daily

Buses begin to move students and faculty from Aztec High School after a shooting Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Aztec, N.M. (Jon Austria /The Daily Times

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — When the frightened students emerged Thursday from their hiding places at Aztec High School, they learned two of their classmates had been killed. The shooter also was dead and the close-knit community of 6,500 people was thrust into mourning as they became the latest to feel the sting of what seems to be a routine tragedy in the United States.

Why the shooter chose Casey J. Marquez and Francisco I. Fernandez remained a mystery as detectives combed through evidence. So far, they have released few details.

Police arrived at the school less than a minute after getting the initial calls, which came shortly after the start of first period.

It was not clear if the shooter died by suicide or was killed by police. No other injuries were reported.