Who was Bennie Hargrove? Boy who was shot dead by 'bully' classmate lauded for bravery
Bennie Hargrove, a 13-year-old student at Washington Middle School, was killed by a teen his own age for asking him to leave his friends alone
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: Just a day after a middle school shooting left Albuquerque shocked, the teenage victim has been identified as Bennie Hargrove. The boy was killed during lunch at school on Friday, August 13, when he tried to confront an alleged bully for mistreating his friends. The alleged bully has since been arrested and charged with murder and unlawfully carrying a deadly weapon on school premises.
News of this killing comes amid a shocking spate of shooting incidents involving children. Days ago, Florida mom Shamaya Lynn was shot to death by her toddler son while she was on a Zoom call. Aiden Fucci, another teen, also from Florida, was arrested and charged with the murder of cheerleader classmate Tristyn Bailey whom he had allegedly stabbed 114 times. And speaking of young killers, Norman school board member Linda Sexton also made controversial comments about how maskless kids could even 'commit murder’. In Hargrove's case, however, one unfortunate thing led to another as the teenager died trying to stand up to a bully.
Who was Bennie Hargrove?
Bennie Hargrove, 13, was a student at the Washington Middle School, said Albuquerque Police at a news conference. He was shot multiple times by an alleged bully identified as Juan Saucedo, also 13, and later died at the University of New Mexico Hospital, KRQE reported. Hargrove was found on the ground near the east side of the school, said police who were called to the scene on the day of the shooting at around 12:45 pm. The boy had several gunshot wounds to his body when police found him. A campus police officer had also kept Saucedo detained at the time.
Hargrove allegedly died in the middle of a bullying incident, with Saucedo's parents telling investigators that the boy had taken the gun from his father, reports the Albuquerque Journal. A student witness reportedly told detectives that Saucedo had shown the gun he had in his backpack to several children at school earlier in the day. The boy had hidden the gun behind his leg when Hargrove approached to confront him, the witness added. Hargrove had allegedly told Saucedo to “stop bullying his friends." He had also mentioned he “didn’t want to fight” but asked the alleged bully to “leave his friends alone.”
Bennie Hargrove called 'hero'
Saucedo pulled out the gun and fired at Hargrove, the witness said, mentioning there were multiple shots fired — tallying with the several gunshot wounds Hargrove was found with when cops arrived at the scene. Police also said that Saucedo told officers “tell my mom I’m sorry,” and reportedly refused food when he was offered, claiming: “I don’t deserve to eat." The killer's father arrived at the scene just in time to see his boy getting handcuffed, after noticing the gun was missing from his home.
Hargrove was dubbed a "hero" by Police Chief Harold Medina who gave a brief statement on the night of the shocking murder. “He stood up for a friend and tried to de-escalate a violent confrontation between classmates,” Medina said, calling the incident “a tragedy that has shaken our community.” At the time, no identities had been released, but Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham had said in an official address: “These tragedies should never occur. That they do tells us there is more work to be done."
A GoFundMe page has been set in the memory of 'Brave Bennie' and the page has already raised $28,532 of its $50K goal.