The question of how and why such a tragedy could happen to the Griegos haunts family members and fellow churchgoers as lawmakers across the country debate whether more gun control laws would keep another shooting from happening, even though the signs of brewing tragedy are often impossible to spot.
Public defender Jeff Buckels said in a statement that it's too early for anyone to rush to judgment about the teen's mental state, motives or plans. He accused the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department of parceling out limited bits of information that have led to "sensational headlines that threaten to finish Nehemiah's case in the public mind before it has fairly begun."
Sheriff Dan Houston has said he stands by the facts as presented in the investigation.
Griego is facing murder and child abuse charges in the deaths of his parents and three younger siblings — all found shot to death inside their rural home south of Albuquerque on Jan. 19.
Detectives were at the home for two days collecting evidence. They also have been reviewing text messages and calls between Griego and his 12-year-old girlfriend and security video from Calvary, where the teen apparently spent much of the day following the early morning shootings.
After the killings, authorities allege that Griego reloaded his parents' two semi-automatic rifles and put them in the family van and planned to gun down Wal-Mart shoppers. Houston has said investigators have no information that Griego actually went to a Wal-Mart that day.
Buckels, the defense attorney, promised he will consult with mental health experts and investigate the effects of violent video games. Authorities have said Griego liked to play "Modern Warfare" and "Grand Theft Auto."
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