FBI sued in wrongful death lawsuit from 2017 Aztec High School shooting
You'll probably hear these arguments after a school shooting. Though we often disagree, we can all agree on one thing: school shootings have to stop. The Republic | azcentral.com
This is the second wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of one of victims in the Aztec High School shooting.
FARMINGTON — The mother of one of the 2017 Aztec High School shooting victims is suing the federal government, claiming the FBI is negligent in the death of Casey Jordan Marquez and that the agency could have intervened if the agents had done a proper threat assessment of the shooter.
Jamie Lattin filed the complaint against the United States of America in New Mexico federal court on June 8, according to court records.
This is the second wrongful death lawsuit that Lattin has filed. The first was a Dec. 6 lawsuit accusing Aztec schools and police of negligence in the death of Marquez.
The new lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of money for lost value of life, pain and suffering, along with loss of earning capacity.
Francisco "Paco" Fernandez and Marquez, both 17, were shot and killed during the Dec. 7, 2017, shooting.
Lattin and FBI spokesman Frank Fisher both declined comment on the lawsuit.
Lawsuit: FBI concluded shooter's comments were 'in jest'
The complaint alleges that Marquez died of negligent acts and omissions by FBI employees.
The lawsuit recalls the March 2016 investigation FBI agents conducted after the agency received a targeted threat against Aztec High School that the shooter made online.
The agency received information that the shooter posted online seeking advice on how to acquire a cheap assault rifle to commit a mass shooting at Aztec High, according to the lawsuit.
It was initially traced to the shooter's brother, which led the FBI to interview the family.
"At the time of the interviews, (the shooter) had a significant online profile as someone who was obsessed with school shootings and glorified school shooters on alt-right websites," according to the complaint.
The agents who interviewed the shooter concluded he was just "posting these comments in jest" and that he "enjoyed acting as an internet troll" and had no plans to obtain a firearm.
The lawsuit claims the investigation closed following that interview.
Shooter had troubling history
Public records requests filed with Aztec Municipal School District and Aztec high confirmed that the FBI did not contact the high school to get the shooter's student file or investigate any grievances he had with the school as a student, according to the complaint.
The shooter was suspended on March 9, 2012, after he memorialized the Columbine School Shooting by writing the schedule of the April 20, 1999, shooting which killed 15 people, including both shooters.
The complaint alleges that if the FBI agents had asked about the shooter's history at the high school and reviewed his file, they would have found he had a history of psychological problems at school, a long history of "family discord" and was the target of bullying.
The lawsuit also discusses the shooter's contact with Ali David Sonboly, the man who shot and killed nine people on July 22, 2016, in a Munich, Germany mall.
Former San Juan County Sheriff's Office Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln previously told The Daily Times the shooter had been in contact with other school shooters and used an online video game to practice his attack on Aztec high.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.
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