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N.M. boy, 15, confesses to fatally shooting parents, siblings

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 9:12 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — A 15-year-old Albuquerque, N.M.-area boy has confessed to killing his mother, father and three small siblings at their home over the weekend, according to a probable cause statement by the sheriff’s office.

The boy also told authorities that he wanted to “drive to a populated area” to “shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement,” according to the statement, which was posted online Monday by local media.

But after the killings at his family’s home southwest of the city early Saturday, the boy went to church.

At the Calvary Church, where his father had been a pastor, he began to spin stories that would later unravel under interrogation. According to court documents, the boy told his girlfriend and her grandmother that his family had died in a car crash.

The document doesn’t say how authorities were led to the home, but after they discovered the bodies, the boy told officers that he found the bodies and wasn’t home at the time of the shooting. According to the statement, he called his father’s body a “carcass.”

The father, a chaplain who volunteered with the local fire department, had been shot in the head with a military-style AR-15 rifle, police said — the type of weapon used in the massacres in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.

The boy’s case is being handled by the juvenile court system. He has not been charged as an adult.

The boy’s interrogator, who signed the statement as “A. Gaitan,” set out his initial comments to investigators: He admitted that, yes, he’d packed guns into the family van he drove to church; yes, he had fired them, but in the backyard, and only “in anger” after discovering his family’s bodies; and yes, he did touch the shell casings.

When the interviewer told the boy — who said he didn’t want an attorney or an adult present — that his story didn’t make sense, the youth confessed, authorities said. He said he had “anger issues” and had been “annoyed” with his mother.

Around midnight Friday, the boy began to feel homicidal and suicidal, took a .22 rifle out of his parents’ closet, and shot his mother in the head, the probable cause statement said. She was in bed with the boy’s 9-year-old brother. The youth shot him too, authorities said.

At that point, according to the sheriff’s documents, the boy “lost his conscience” and shot his 5- and 2-year-old sisters in the head in their bedroom, where they were crying.

The boy put down the .22 for the much higher velocity .223-caliber AR-15 that had also been in his parents’ closet, police said, then he hid in a bathroom until his father came home about 5 a.m.

The boy “stated he hid and waited until his father had walked past him and he then shot his father multiple times with the rifle,” the probable cause statement said.

The statement’s author, Gaitan, said, “I asked (the boy) if he had told anyone else about murdering his family, and he stated he had taken a picture of his deceased mother and sent it to his girlfriend.”

It’s not clear who the guns belonged to. Friends described the father as a former “gang-banger” before beginning his years as a chaplain. Neighbors told local media that the boy had been home-schooled and that the family’s children were forbidden from watching violent or objectionable media.

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