Bonfire will focus on healing after Aztec H.S. shooting
Funeral services are planned for Friday and Sunday
- The bonfire will be held on private property along the North Main Avenue extension in Aztec.
- Casey Marquez's funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Henderson Fine Arts Center at San Juan College, 4601 N. College Blvd., in Farmington.
- A funeral service for Francisco "Paco" Fernandez will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at Piñon Hills Community Church, 5101 N. Dustin Ave.
FARMINGTON — A bonfire Sunday evening is designed to promote community healing in the wake of last week's fatal shooting at Aztec High School.
The event was requested by the mother of Casey Marquez, one of two students who were fatally shot Dec. 7.
Marquez, 17, was killed in the hallway that morning shortly after school began. The other victim, Francisco "Paco" Fernandez, 17, was killed when he entered a bathroom. Police say the shooter took his own life.
Marquez's funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Henderson Fine Arts Center at San Juan College, 4601 N. College Blvd., in Farmington.
A funeral service for Francisco "Paco" Fernandez will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at Piñon Hills Community Church, 5101 N. Dustin Ave.
The Fernandez family has asked people not to bring cell phones to the service and not to take pictures during the service, according to a Keith Corley, associate pastor at Piñon Hills Community Church. Piñon Hills Boulevard and a portion of East Main Street between Piñon Hills Boulevard and Memory Gardens will be closed from noon to 12:30 p.m. for the funeral procession.
During a commission meeting Tuesday, Mayor Sally Burbridge said the bonfire will be held on private property along the North Main Avenue extension. She said people can start gathering at 4 p.m., and Marquez's mother will light the fire between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
People who attend are asked to write their fears, hopes or prayers on pieces of paper that will be placed on the pile of wood, which will then be lit.
Schools from as far away as Moriarty and Artesia are planning to bus students to Aztec for the Sunday evening bonfire, according to Burbridge. The city is asking for people to park away from the property and walk to the location to prevent overcrowding.
People wishing to donate to the families of the victims can donate on GoFundMe or at local banks. An account ending in 44780 has been set up for the Marquez family at Four Corners Community Bank. An account ending in 3913 has been set up for the Fernandez family at Wells Fargo. The GoFundMe accounts are Love for Casey and Victim of AHS Shooting Paco-F.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.