Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Chaplain and family 'killed by son'

A teenager has shot two adults and three children in a New Mexico home
A teenager has shot two adults and three children in a New Mexico home

Five people found gunned down in a house in New Mexico have been identified as a fire brigade chaplain, his wife, and three of their children.

Bernalillo County sheriff's office said the victims were Greg Griego, his wife Sara and children Zephania, nine, Jael, five and Angelina, two.

Mr Griego's 15-year-old son is in custody on murder and other charges in connection with the shooting, which happened on Saturday night local time in a rural area south west of central Albuquerque.

Authorities would not reveal any details about conversations the teenager had with investigators. Police said they would not release any more information until Sheriff Dan Houston holds a news conference on Tuesday.

Word of the shootings travelled quickly through the law enforcement community and officials began offering their condolences for Mr Griego, a spiritual leader known for his work with firefighters and the 13 years he spent as a volunteer chaplain at the county jail.

"Chaplin Griego was a dedicated professional that passionately served his fellow man and the firefighters of this community," Fire Chief James Breen said. "His calming spirit and gentle nature will be greatly missed."

Jail chief Ramon Rustin said Mr Griego was instrumental in the creation of the Metropolitan Detention Centre's chaplain programme and worked to get inmates integrated back into the community. He was also a former member of the pastoral staff at Calvary, a Christian church in Albuquerque. As part of his work there, he oversaw the Straight Street programme for prisoners.

Authorities said each shooting victim sustained more than one gunshot wound and several guns were found at the home, one of which was a semi-automatic military-style rifle. Investigators were trying to determine who owned the guns.

The 15-year-old boy was charged on two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.

Peter Gomez, a 54-year-old carpenter who lives about 200 yards from the home, said he had seen the family - a husband and wife and their four children - pass by many times. "It's a horrible thing," he said. "You see all this stuff that happens all over the country, the shootings in the schools and theatres, and then it happens right here. It's sad."

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