While Gun Appreciation Day was wrapping up last Saturday, Nehemiah Griego, age 15, who had never been in trouble with the law, was leading police to his Albuquerque home claiming he’d returned from a friend’s house to find his parents, brother and two sisters shot to death – and that fearing for his own safety, he’d driven the family van to the church where his father was a pastor. But when police saw two rifles in the van, they said, OK, now tell us the truth.
That’s when he admitted being “frustrated” with his mother – so frustrated that he went to his parents closet, where they kept two rifles and two pistol grip shotguns, chose one of the rifles, and shot her as she slept. That woke the three kids so he shot them too.
His father worked a graveyard shift at a rescue mission and wasn’t home – so he chose the family’s more powerful AR-15, hid in a downstairs bathroom, and at 5:00, when his father walked in, he shot him dead.
Nehemiah was home schooled, and video games were forbidden. But he told the cops that he played Modern Warfare and Grand Theft Auto on a regular basis, and yes, he had fantasies about killing real people too.
The reason the guns were in the van, he said, was that he planned to drive to a Walmart and keep shooting until someone shot him. Can the County Sheriff can’t make any sense of it? No.
As with Adam Lanza’s mother in Newtown, we’ll never know whether the parents had any inkling what was going on in Nehemiah’s mind. But what we do know is that they never dreamed the weapons they kept in that closet would be turned on them. In fact the Griego house still displayed a sign reading: “Protected by Smith & Wesson Security Services.”