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Autopsy: Aztec school shooter had swastika, ‘build wall’ markings on body

Students are led out of Aztec High School after a shooting Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Aztec, N.M. The school is in the Four Corners region and is near the Navajo Nation. (Jon Austria /The Daily Times via AP)

William Atchison, 21 (San Juan County Sheriff)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A gunman in a deadly New Mexico school shooting last year had no drugs or alcohol in his system the day of the rampage and an autopsy revealed a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, bruised knuckles and faint ink markings on his leg that included a swastika symbol.

Autopsy and toxicology results for William Atchison were released Monday in response to a public records request.

Despite the ink markings, authorities reiterated Tuesday that there was no indication that the 21-year-old former student’s plot was influenced by white supremacist views as the victims weren’t specifically targeted. Notes left behind by the gunman detailed plans to “gear up” after making his way onto campus and then shoot up a classroom before killing himself, they said.

Atchison killed two students — Francisco I. Fernandez and Casey J. Marquez — at Aztec High School in December before firing randomly in a hallway and a computer lab, where a substitute teacher and students hid. He then killed himself.

The autopsy report details a gunshot wound that went through Atchison’s mouth and out the back of his head.

Bryce Current, the internal affairs captain for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, said the agency is continuing to investigate and has yet to review the autopsy findings.

Current said Atchison was shooting randomly and through walls and it’s believed his intent was on “destroying people” regardless of their race.

“With his manifesto and what the facts showed was that he simply hated everybody, everything, hated the town he lived in, hated life,” Current said.

Authorities found a thumb drive on Atchison’s body after the shooting. In one file, he wrote: “Work sucks, school sucks, life sucks. I just want out of this (expletive).”

Shortly after school started on Dec. 7, Atchison killed Fernandez when the student walked into the bathroom where the gunman was gearing up. Atchison then walked out into the hallway and encountered Marquez and immediately killed her, authorities said.

Both victims were described by family and classmates as having bright futures.

Atchison then walked up and down the hall, firing randomly, before killing himself, authorities said.

According to the autopsy, the faint ink markings on Atchison’s skin included the letters “SS” and “AMOG” on his upper left thigh along with the swastika symbol. A marking that appears as “BUILD WALL” was above a knee and “your home” was on his groin.

The shooter did not have a criminal record, officials said. The only contact with law enforcement was what they described as a generic message on an online gaming forum in 2016 in which he talked about what weapons might be used in a mass shooting. That posting was flagged, and the FBI talked with the gunman at his home in Aztec, where he lived with his parents. At the time, he did not own any weapons other than an airsoft pellet gun. He said he had no plans for an attack and just liked to troll sites online.

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