ROSWELL, N.M. — A 12-year-old boy accused of opening fire with a shotgun at a New Mexico middle school and seriously wounding two students, has been charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, authorities said on Thursday.

The boy, Mason Campbell, will be tried as a juvenile in connection with the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, said New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Emmanuel Gutierrez.

The charges were filed in children’s court on Wednesday in the state’s Fifth Judicial District Court, and the documents name the accused child.

Campbell is believed to have taken a 20-gauge shotgun from his home, modified it and planned the attack. With the weapon concealed in a duffel bag, he entered the school gymnasium and opened fire on students waiting for classes to start, police said.

Investigators were also continuing to look into the possibility that Campbell warned some friends before carrying out the attack on Tuesday at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, police said.

Students were to return to the school on Thursday with an increased police presence in the area, a New Mexico State Police dispatcher said.

The shooting left an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl seriously wounded. There was no immediate word on a motive.

“We did find evidence that the suspect had planned this event,” New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas told reporters, while declining to reveal any more details.

The shooting was the second at a U.S. middle school in the past three months and comes in the midst of a contentious national debate on gun control that intensified after a gunman killed 26 people at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the New Mexico shooting, the boy had modified the weapon and he had three rounds of birdshot in it, Kassetas said.

The shooter fired all three rounds, with one going into the ceiling of the gym, one into the floor and one 12 to 15 feet away, into the stands where students were gathered, Kassetas said at a news conference.

The shooting lasted just 10 seconds before a teacher, identified as John Masterson, stepped forward and persuaded the boy to put down his gun, officials said.

Juvenile charges

The suspected shooter was not charged as an adult because of his age, in accordance with New Mexico law. No one under age 14 in the state can face adult sanctions, authorities said.

The boy was being held at an “appropriate children’s facility” in Albuquerque, 170 miles to the northwest of Roswell, following the shooting said state police spokesman Lieutenant Emmanuel Gutierrez.

According to local media, the boy’s parents released a statement on Wednesday that said a judge has ordered the boy to undergo mental health evaluation and treatment.

“We are horribly sad over this tragedy on so many levels,” they wrote in the statement, which was also signed by the boy’s grandparents, according to two local television stations and CNN. “We are praying that God will be with everyone who has been affected.”

Reuters was not able to confirm the authenticity of the statement.

The students who were wounded did not appear to have been singled out, Kassetas said.

A spokesman for University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, to which both wounded children were airlifted on Tuesday and where they underwent surgery, said the boy was listed in critical condition, while the girl’s condition was said to be satisfactory.

In October, a 12-year-old boy in Sparks, Nevada, opened fire at his school, killing a teacher and wounding two students before killing himself.

Another shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012 prompted President Barack Obama to call for sweeping new gun control measures.

Most of Obama’s proposals were defeated in Congress, but his administration this month sought new regulations aimed at clarifying restrictions on gun ownership for the mentally ill and bolstering a database used for firearms background checks.

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