An open book, a gavel and pen are on top of a piece of paper that says Lawsuit.

Family of New Mexico School Shooting Victim Sues FBI

The mother of one of the victims in the 2017 Aztec High School shooting filed a second wrongful death lawsuit.  

The mother of a New Mexico school shooting victim has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the FBI was negligent in the death of her daughter.

Jamie Lattin filed the complaint in New Mexico federal court on June 8, the Farmington Daily Times reports. The complaint alleges that Lattin’s daughter, Casey Jordan Marquez, died of negligent acts and omissions by FBI employees. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of money for loss of life, pain and suffering.

Marquez and her classmate Francisco “Paco” Fernandez were shot and killed at Aztec High School by a former student on Dec. 7, 2017. 

The 21-year-old gunman, William Atchison, attacked Fernandez in a bathroom and encountered Marquez in the hallway. The 17-year-olds suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Atchison died by suicide at the school.   

The lawsuit points to a March 2016 FBI investigation after the agency received an online threat made by Atchison against Aztec High School. According to the lawsuit, the FBI received information that Atchison posted on an online gaming website he was looking for advice on how to acquire a cheap assault rifle for a mass shooting at his former school. The FBI traced the post to a computer server that belonged to his brother, which led to interviews with the family.

"At the time of the interviews, William Atchison had a significant online profile as someone who was obsessed with school shootings and glorified school shooters on alt-right websites," according to the complaint.

The FBI agents who interviewed the gunman in March 2016 concluded he was just posting the comments “in jest” and “enjoyed acting as an internet troll but had no plans to secure a gun.”

The FBI did not share the information with the high school or did not investigate Atchison’s school file, according the complaint.

They would’ve found the gunman was suspended on March 9, 2012 for writing the schedule of the Columbine school shooting on a whiteboard. He did not return to school and ultimately disenrolled from school later that year.

This is the second wrongful death lawsuit Lattin has filed. The first was in December accusing Aztec schools and police of negligence in her daughter’s death.

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. She can be reached at ymarquez@1105media.com

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