New Mexico teen talks about killings, authorities say

Allegedly shot 5 family members

Flowers were placed at the entrance to a home where a couple and their three young children were found shot to death south of Albuquerque.

Susan Montoya Bryan

Flowers were placed at the entrance to a home where a couple and their three young children were found shot to death south of Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three siblings told authorities he was annoyed with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to a probable cause statement.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, remained in custody Monday on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death.


He was arrested following the shootings Saturday at a home southwest of Albuquerque where he lived with his family.

A Bernalillo County sheriff’s detective questioned the teen Saturday night.

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The teen allegedly told the detective that he took a .22 caliber rifle from his parents’ closet and shot his mother in the head while his younger brother slept next to her.

Griego told the detective that his brother did not believe him that their mother was dead so he showed his mother’s bloody face to his brother and then shot him, according to the statement.

He’s accused of then shooting his two young sisters in their room.


He retrieved an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle from his parents’ closet and waited in a downstairs bathroom for his father to come home.

The statement said he shot his father multiple times after he passed the bathroom doorway.

The teen said he reloaded the guns so ‘‘he could drive to a populated area to murder more people,’’ according to the statement.

The sheriff’s office identified the victims as Greg Griego, 51, his wife, Sarah, 40, and three of their children: a 9-year-old boy, Zephania, and daughters Jael, 5, and Angelina, 2. All appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head.

Greg Griego was a pastor who had once served at one of Albuquerque’s largest Christian churches.

He was well-known throughout the law enforcement community for his work as a voluntary chaplain.

Neighbor Terry Wootan described Griego as a man with a big heart.

The two sometimes chatted at the mailbox and would wave to each other when passing by.

Wootan said Griego told him about his time in California when he was involved in gangs and how he turned his life around and found God.

‘‘What he wanted to do was help people, and he would never quit,’’ Wootan said.

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