New Mexico

Stray bullet strikes Centennial High; LCPD says there is little it can do

Stray bullet strikes Centennial High...

LAS CRUCES, Police - A bullet hole found in a window at Centennial High school has some questioning the safety of students enrolled at the school.

The campus is off Sonoma Ranch Boulevard, surrounded by a Bureau of Land Management property and undeveloped private lots.

Police said it is an area where people often go to fire weapons for target practice. It is common to find bullet casings a mile from the high school.

The Las Cruces Police Department told ABC-7 gun owners can legally practice there if they are more than 150 feet away from homes and are not shooting at buildings.

"We can't be out there 24/7. We can't be monitoring people, we can't be having an officer stationed out in the desert somewhere. We can't do that, so the best thing we can do is tell people and teach people," LCPD Spokesman Dan Trujillo said.

Photos sent to ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom by the Las Cruces Public Schools district show a shell casing crammed in a fence at Centennial High and a bullet hole in a classroom building.

LCPD believes the shots were fired during the weekend, two weeks ago, and not during school hours. The school was struck by a stray bullet, investigators said.

The school district told ABC-7 it is doing everything it can to ensure student safety. A spokeswoman sent ABC-7 the following statement:

"The police and the school district's Safety & Security Officer have been monitoring the desert around the school property.  It is extremely important that anyone who is target-practicing in the desert to remember how far bullets can travel.  Shooting should be done only in authorized locations.  We need to keep students and staff safe at all times."

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