Police described a “horrific” scene after they arrived at the New Mexico home where a teenage boy allegedly killed his two parents and three siblings late Saturday night.
The five family members were found in their rural home outside Albuquerque. Police identified the victims as Greg Griego, 51; Sarah Griego, 40; and their children Zephania Griego, 9; Jael Griego, 5; and Angelina Griego, 2.
Their alleged attacker was identified by police as another family member, 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego, the Associated Press reported.
The boy was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department. He has been placed in a juvenile detention center, according to police.
Police found multiple weapons, including an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle, near the scene of the shooting, according to the AP.
“The victims all had multiple gunshot wounds, and there appeared to be multiple weapons, including an assault-type weapon,” Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department deputy Aaron Williamson told Reuters.
“There’s no other way to say it, except that we have a horrific crime scene down there that we are working on it,” Sheriff Dan Houston said on Sunday.
While little was known about the alleged shooter, a picture began to emerge Monday of his father. Greg Griego, identified as a pastor at Calvary, a local church, was remembered as a caring family man.
“Greg loved his family, he loved his church, he loved God, and was very involved with and had love for people in prison,” Calvary executive director Brian Nixon told NBC affiliate KOB-TV. “He headed up our jail ministry, he had a passion for people and to help them.”
Griego was active in the local community, working with prison inmates at the county jail as well as with area firefighters. He was the brother of former state Senator Eric Griego, KOB-TV reported.
“Chaplain Griego was a dedicated professional that passionately served his fellow man and the firefighters of this community,” Fire Chief James Breen said in a statement, according to the AP. “His calming spirit and gentle nature will be greatly missed.”
“Our family is grieving this terrible tragedy,” family members of the victims said in a statement, according to KOB-TV. “We appreciate the prayers and support we have received and request that the media honor our family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Down the road from the Griego residence, neighbors were shocked to hear the news.
“It’s a horrible thing,” neighbor Peter Gomez, 54, told the AP. “You see all this stuff that happens all over the country, the shootings in the schools and theaters, and then it happens right here. It’s sad.”
Gomez told the Albuquerque Journal that he did not know the Griego family well, but that he used to see the accused teen walking through the neighborhood wearing "camouflage stuff."
The Associated Press, Reuters, and KOB-TV contributed to this report.