Horror in New Mexico
As much as I would love to write nothing but positive posts about the world we live in, there is simply too much negativity to ignore. And we all know how the media tends to flock to more shocking and disturbing stories.
Here’s another one for you.
Last weekend, 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego of New Mexico went on a killing rampage that added more fuel to the national conversations about gun control, violence and our troubled youth.
Let me preface this story by saying that for all intents and purposes, Nehemiah seemed like a normal, well-adjusted kid. He was active in his church youth group, attended mission trips with his father (a former pastor), enjoyed playing music and was a gifted athlete.
In other words, no one saw this coming.
Early last Saturday morning, and for no apparent reason (at least not yet), Nehemiah took a .22 rifle into his mother‘s bedroom, where she was sleeping with his 9-year-old brother Zephania, and fatally shot her. Zephania woke up at the sound of gunfire and Nehemiah told him their mother was dead, going so far as to pick up her head to show him her bloodied face.
Obviously, Zephania got upset at the sight of his dead mother, so Nehemiah shot him in the head and killed him, too. He later told police that this was the point-of-no-return because he “lost his sense of conscience.”
Nehemiah’s rampage continued and his next victims were his sisters, 2-year-old Angelina and 5-year-old Jael. Later, when his father returned from volunteering at a local homeless shelter, Nehemiah shot and killed him as well.
Fortunately, Nehemiah’s five older siblings no longer lived in his home or they would likely be dead, too.
After murdering most of his family, a few of them with an AR-15 assault rifle (like the one used by Adam Lanza in Connecticut), Nehemiah sent his girlfriend a picture of his mother’s lifeless body and then spent the remainder of his afternoon with her.
At one point, they visited his family’s church and it was a staff member there who eventually called the authorities. Griego was arrested and was scheduled to appear in court next week on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death, but his preliminary hearing has been waived. Instead, Nehemiah will face a grand jury within the next few weeks.
Although the events of this case are disturbing enough, the plot thickened once police started to question Nehemiah. He told them he had been planning the killings for at least a week and even hoped to continue his shooting spree at a local Wal-Mart. His goal was to cause “mass destruction” and to die at the hands of the police after initiating a shootout.
And we still have no idea why. Not completely, at least.
During his interrogation, Nehemiah was “stern” and “very unemotional.” He told police that he was frustrated with his mother and even thought about killing his girlfriend’s parents. Nehemiah also expressed an interest in playing violent video games and seemed excited to talk about them with investigators.
I’m sure someone will find a way to blame video games for Nehemiah’s violent behavior, even though I’m not aware of any research that truly connects the two.
So there you have it: another “normal” teenager who suddenly snaps and murders his family without feeling remorse, worrying about consequences or exercising any conscience whatsoever. I’m hoping that more details will come out to help us all understand how something like this could happen, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.
After all, there seem to be fewer and fewer things that make sense these days. And true understanding is more elusive than it has ever been.
Posted on January 24, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged AR-15, commentary, crime, current-events, Family, guns, murder, New Mexico, news, perspectives, Violence, Walmart. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.