But he said they determined no crime had been committed at that time.
The shooting Thursday morning at Aztec High School in northern New Mexico could have been significantly worse had it not been for heroes who locked the school down and the police officers who ran inside. The two victims were students.
Local, state and federal authorities said at a news conference that they had a lot of evidence to process and many interviews to conduct.
Authorities said they believe they know the identities of the victims, but no positive identification has been made, and, therefore, they are not releasing names today.
Officials say they believe Atchison shot himself.
Christesen said it was a "miracle" no other injuries were reported.
Wade did not specify what Atchison wrote, but said it was something along the lines of: "If you're going to commit a mass shooting, does anyone know about cheap assault rifles?" She didn't provide more details.
The governor described the day as hard and called the shooting a heinous and horrific act.
Authorities said the gunman lived with his parents in Aztec and had worked at a gas station.
After shooting both dead, he went on a rampage within the school, walking up and down the hallway and shooting through glass and walls as students and teachers barricaded themselves. He and other students moved to a corner of the room out of sight of the door and hid.
News 13 spoke to one student who says she listened to the sound of gunshots that got closer and closer to her classroom.
The students inside were quiet, as they were trained to be in a lockdown, according to Potter.
The shooting prompted La Plata County schools to take precautions all day.
Christesen hailed fearless acts of school staff and law enforcement who he said helped save lives.
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"We are aware that there was a shooting at Aztec High School". The high school has approximately 900 students.
"Students and staff will react in different ways to incidents such as this". "In my mind there are so many things wrong with this".
"If you find you need additional supports or your students do, please don't hesitate to reach out to your school administrator, teacher or counselor for additional resources available to students".
We have a small favor to ask of you.
"The suspect has been apprehended". He had attended Aztec High School previously, but was not enrolled at the time of the incident.
"We have also increased perimeter sweeps and will have increased awareness in the halls and around campus".
San Juan County Sheriff's Office then had parents of Aztec High School students pick up them up at Mcgee Park at noon.
"Remember that student safety is our top priority in Bayfield School District". Thank you very much!
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with the entire Aztec community.
Christesen praised Thomas Hill, the high school custodian.
"All New Mexicans are with Aztec today", she said.
Aztec Police got a call about the shooting about 8 a.m., officials said, and students were in class at the time.
Atchison didn't have a criminal history, but he was the subject of an FBI investigation in 2016.