NM Shooter Told Church His Family Died in Car Crash

Locals struggle to understand Griego-family murders
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 25, 2013 7:34 AM CST
This undated photo provided by Eric Griego shows Nehemiah Griego.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Eric Griego)

(Newser) – Those who knew the Albuquerque family killed by their 15-year-old son are stumped as to why it happened. Nehemiah Griego seemed like a perfectly normal kid, say locals. "He did not fit the criteria of a kid who was crazy into guns and wanted to hurt people. That's absolutely false," says a former police officer who knew the family for 10 years. Griego's father was a gang member before becoming a pastor who sought to help others change their lives; the boy's upbringing was steeped in Christianity.

Griego played music with the church band and basketball at the church, the AP reports. The family members "were always together. They just always seemed to click," says a chaplain. In a statement after the attack, however, relatives called Griego a "troubled young man," ABC News notes. Griego spent the hours following the shooting with his 12-year-old girlfriend, who "will not be facing any charges" following a police interview, a police spokesman says. (Griego reportedly sent her an image of his mother's body.) The two went to the church that evening; after Griego told church members his family had died in a car accident, one called the police. (Read more Nehemiah Griego stories.)

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