Skip to main content

Personal tools


Letter to Atrisco Heritage Academy Families on Friday Night Tragedy

Posted December 9, 2023, 11:55 AM. Updated December 21, 2023, 2:33 PM.

In a letter to her community, AHA Principal Irene Cisneros addresses the fatal shooting of a student following a basketball game.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Dear Atrisco Heritage Academy Community,

The worst of our fears played out last night when one of our students was shot in the school parking lot shortly after a basketball game and later transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The details of the incident are still under investigation, but it appears the shooting transpired when two of our students were playing with a firearm in a vehicle, resulting in an accidental discharge that claimed the life of one of the teenagers. 

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident and will provide additional information as soon as the details are confirmed. 

Like you, I am heartsick, shocked, and bewildered by this senseless and tragic loss. Despite our continuous efforts to educate students about the dangers posed by guns, incidents like these continue to plague our city. Our community, like countless others across the nation, is acutely familiar with gun tragedies. However, there is no way to fully prepare for the heart-wrenching reality of waking up to the news of a young life lost forever and another altered forever.

In response to this tragedy, we will have an increased police presence on campus Monday. Additionally, our counseling services will be available to support students and staff grappling with the emotional impact of this incident. 

If you have a weapon in your home, please ensure it is stored securely and continue to talk with your children about the grave dangers associated with mishandling weapons. The state Department of Health has joined forces with the nonprofit New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence and has launched a website outlining steps gun owners should take to secure their firearms and information on how to get a free gunlock.

And please keep the families directly affected by this tragedy in your hearts and thoughts.


Irene Cisneros, Principal

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School