12-year-old Mason Campbell has been charged as a juvenile in the Berrendo Middle School shooting in which he shot two other students with a 20 gauge shotgun. Under New Mexico law the suspect has to be at least 14 before they can be charged as an adult.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand maybe 12-years-old is too young to charge someone as an adult in a shooting where no one died. Then again he did shoot one of his victims, 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez, in the face. Here’s what condition Nathaniel is in after the shooting…
Gov. Susana Martinez said Thursday the boy who was shot in the face and neck at a New Mexico middle school is heavily sedated and on a breathing machine, but his doctors are optimistic.
Martinez told reporters the student remained in critical condition at a Lubbock, Texas, hospital and doctors have repaired slight damage to his heart. She also said his face and head are covered in pockmarks from the shotgun pellets, and both of his eyes were injured.
Not exactly a minor scrape.
Still no word on how the shotgun was obtained or who it belonged to. All we know is it’s allegedly ‘from the home’. Even if it turned out to have belonged to the parents and was not properly stored I seriously doubt they’ll face any charges. I can’t think of one instance where any parent was charged for allowing their kids access to the guns in a situation like this. I’d be willing to let more shooters serve juvenile sentences if their parents were charged as accomplices.
UPDATE 4/10/2014: Campbell has been ruled competent to stand trial.
UPDATE 7/5/2014: Campbell was sentenced to juvenile detention until he turns 21 after pleading no contest.