Cheerleader and Football Player ID'd as Victims in New Mexico High School Shooting
Authorities in New Mexico have identified the two students who were gunned down in their high school on Thursday morning, PEOPLE confirms.
A statement from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office identifies the victims of the shooting at Aztec High School as Francisco Fernandez and Casey Marquez, who were reportedly a football player and cheerleader, respectively.
The shooter’s name has not been released. Officials have said the killer was also a student at the school, in Aztec, New Mexico, according to the Associated Press.
The gunman was killed Thursday, authorities previously told PEOPLE, though it is unclear how. A motive also remains unclear.
More details are expected at a news conference later Friday morning.
A law enforcement source told ABC News that police officers had to shoot through a locked door to enter the school. They found the suspected shooter dead, with a 9 mm pistol and multiple loaded magazines nearby.
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“Today was a hard day for San Juan County,” a statement from the sheriff’s office reads. “We would like to thank everyone that sent prayers and donations to Aztec High School students and staff, as well as first responders.”
Students at Aztec High told local station KOAT they were afraid and dazed when the shooting started.
Sophomore Garrett Parker said he was in history class when he heard what he initially thought were students banging on lockers on Thursday morning.
The school was placed on lockdown soon after the gunfire rang out, and students moved to the corners of their classrooms to hide.
“It’s horrible — it’s a great community and we love this place,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Jayme Harcrow told PEOPLE. “Things can happen anywhere, but it’s shocking when they happen in a place like here.”
Remembering the Victims
A candlelight vigil held Thursday night in Aztec’s Minium Park drew hundreds of mourners, according to multiple news reports.
Marquez is being remembered on Facebook for her good-natured spirit.
“I wish I could hold you and tell you I love you one more time. Not a day will go by that I don’t think of you and remember your beautiful bright smile,” her sister, Keena Marquez, wrote. “We will miss you so much sweet baby sister.”
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“My heart hurts so bad right now,” wrote Jesse Smith, a friend of the high school senior. “How could such awful things always happen to the greatest people? We all love you and will miss you so much girl!”
Fernandez was a junior who had recently transferred to the high school and planned to attend college after graduation, local TV station KOB reports.
His friends and family called him “Paco,” according to a GoFundMe page established to help cover his funeral expenses.