The boy at the center of a New Mexico middle school will be formally charged as a juvenile by the end of this week, officials said. Even though he brought a gun to school and wounded two classmates, due to his young age, he will not stand trial or be treated as an adult in the crime.
The 12-year-old, whose name has not been released by the press, brought a sawed off shotgun to school and managed to hit and wound two classmates, ages 11 and 13. Teacher John Masterson is credited with saving more lives by convincing the preteen to give up his gun.
"Mr. Masterson was a hero," Governor Susana Martinez said at a vigil held for the victim-survivors on Tuesday night. He "stood there and allowed a gun to be pointed right at him and to talk down that young boy to drop the gun so that there would be no more young kids hurt."
The two victims are being treated for their injures; the 13-year-old girl was struck in the right shoulder and is likely to remain hospitalized for a week or longer. The 12-year-old boy suffered rather severe injuries to the side of his face and neck and has already undergone two surgeries since the shooting on Tuesday morning.
The shooter's parents and grandparents issued a statement saying they are "praying that God will be with everyone who has been affected. For all of the anguish that many suffered yesterday, our family offers our heartfelt condolences and remorse in words that we cannot fully express."
Police are still searching for a motive in the shooting but have theorized that the young man planned the attack and had been planning it for quite some time. He is currently being held at a psychiatric hospital and may appear in court this week.
"We did find evidence that the suspect had planned this event," New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas told CNN. "I can't discuss the particulars as to why."
Students will return to school today, and counselors will be at the building all day for those who need to talk about what happened on Tuesday.