Man fires wildly outside Willcox school

Student, 17, is hurt by shards of glass broken by bullet
2012-03-02T00:00:00Z 2012-03-02T12:47:39Z Man fires wildly outside Willcox schoolStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
March 02, 2012 12:00 am  • 

A man fired a rifle indiscriminately at Willcox High School Thursday afternoon, wounding a 17-year-old boy who was watching a baseball game, police said.

Arthur J. Tineo, 40, was arrested shortly after the shooting at the high school, and the weapon he is accused of using was recovered about a block south of the scene, according to the Willcox Department of Public Safety.

Willcox DPS Chief Jake Weaver said it's believed Tineo fired three rounds, but authorities don't yet know the motive for the shooting in the town about 70 miles east of Tucson. It happened shortly after 3 p.m., after classes were done for the day.

The wounded student suffered minor cuts from flying glass when the car he was riding in was shot at, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital. Another juvenile in the same car escaped injury, and authorities said a school employee was fired upon, but was not hit, as he was trying to clear the area during the shooting.

No other injuries were reported among the spectators watching a varsity baseball game between Willcox High School and Valley Union High of Elfrida.

Weaver said Tineo, of Willcox, was booked into the Cochise County jail on suspicion of three counts of attempted murder, plus charges of assault, endangerment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, prohibited possession of a firearm, disorderly conduct with a weapon, and discharging a weapon within city limits.

It was unclear Thursday night whether Tineo had a lawyer yet.

Weaver said Tineo "does have a record" but he couldn't immediately provide details about his prior offenses.

Willcox DPS responded after receiving a 911 call about a man in a field across from the school's baseball field, shooting a rifle toward the campus grounds. The area was locked down for several hours until authorities "felt comfortable" that only one suspect was involved and that person was in custody, Weaver said.

"We don't know if he had a specific target, because our officers haven't had a chance to talk to him yet, but it appears he was firing indiscriminately," Weaver said. "We don't know what his motive was at this time."

Superintendent Richard Rundhaug of Willcox Unified School District credited his staff and students with following procedures that prevented more injuries - or worse - from occurring.

"They remained orderly. They didn't add to the chaos at all," he said.

The school district has previously practiced lockdown procedures with other law enforcement agencies in Cochise County, Rundhaug said.

"That practice and preparation saved a lot of life today," he said.

The suspect was taken into custody by Willcox DPS officers within eight minutes of the original 911 call, Rundhaug said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report, as did Star reporters Carmen Duarte and Jamar Younger. Contact Younger at or 573-4115.

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