ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of the 13-year-old boy shot and killed at an Albuquerque middle school earlier this month is working with local community groups and lawmakers to help prevent another tragedy.
On Saturday, Bennie Hargrove’s mother, Collette Wise, the Albuquerque NAACP, and State Representative Pamelya Herndon took to the mic, mourning the teen’s death. Bennie was killed on August 13 on the field next to Washington Middle School. Police said he was confronting a fellow classmate Juan Saucedo Jr. for bullying his friend the day before, and that’s when Juan allegedly pulled out his father’s gun he took from home and shot Bennie multiple times.
Now just two weeks after Bennie’s tragic death, his mother – alongside the Albuquerque NAACP and State Representative Herndon – introduced proposed legislation called, “The Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act,” which will require parents and adults to lock up or secure guns and other dangerous weapons. Herndon said people who don’t comply would be charged with a fourth-degree felony.
Meanwhile, Wise said more needs to be done to prevent bullying. “I would like for the world to know and the kids to know that being bullied – this is the outcome of it and we have to do something to stop this around the world,” said Wise.
In a statement, the family’s attorney said the blood of Bennie is on the hands of the Saucedo family, Washington Middle School, and the Albuquerque Public Schools District. The family’s attorney said the family plans on suing. He’s claiming the school and district should have suspended Juan for bullying before the tragic incident.
Herndon said they hope to introduce the gun safety act at the next legislative or special session. The Hargrove family said Bennie’s funeral will be open to the public next Saturday, September 4, at 11 a.m. at the New City Church.
An APS spokesperson said they don’t comment on pending litigation. They did say, however, they’ve added more security and bullying preventative measures at Washington Middle School, since Bennie’s death. That includes adding two administrators to help monitor the school and separating lunchtimes by grade level.