SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A teenage boy with several weapons including an assault rifle shot and killed five people, three of them children, at a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said on Sunday.
The boy, whose exact age had yet to be determined, was arrested and charged with the killings which took place late Saturday night, said Aaron Williamson, a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department deputy.
“The victims all had multiple gunshot wounds, and there appeared to be multiple weapons, including an assault type weapon,” Williamson said.
The children appeared to be “elementary- to middle-school age,” Williamson said. The boy was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death, he said.
He said it had not been determined whether the weapons were from inside the house or brought from somewhere else.
It also was not yet clear whether the five people killed were related or what the relationship was between the teen and the victims.
The nation remains on edge about gun violence after a man killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school in December using an assault rifle, sparking a renewed debate about gun control.
President Barack Obama has proposed a new assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun buyers, and New York on Tuesday broadened its assault weapons ban and restricted the allowed capacity for ammunition magazines.
Several other states also are considering whether to tighten gun controls.
The use of assault weapons is legal in New Mexico, although state lawmakers are considering bills that would tighten gun control laws and require background checks for nearly anyone buying a firearm.
Reporting by Zelie Pollon; Editing by David Bailey, Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Osterman