The Main Stream

Mar 2, 2012 8:55 PM

Willcox H.S. custodian dials 911 after hearing gunshots

WILLCOX, AZ - A custodian at Willcox High School is being called a hero, after his quick thinking helped two students escape gunfire outside the school.

"Everybody was running, they were running for cover," Willcox High School Custodian Gus Morales says.

It was a scene Morales has never witnessed in his 30 years working at the high school. "It was an experience I don't want to feel again," Morales says.

He was outside the school Thursday afternoon when he heard what he thought was a loud explosion coming from two students in a car. Then Morales realized it was gunshots. "They were loud pops, two of them, he shot twice," Morales says.

He immediately called 911, as the school went on lockdown. "Everybody was kind of wondering what was going on because there were a lot of rumors about who was hurt," Junior Mayra Hernandez says.

One of the boys got away, the other climbed into Morales' car and later went to the hospital with minor injuries from shattered glass. "We've had shootings, but never at a school," Morales says.

Morales is just glad he was there when it happened. With various outdoor athletic events going on around the school, he says it could have been a lot worse. "Who knows what would have happened?" Morales says. "I'm just glad I was there and nobody was hurt,".

A judge has set a $2 million cash bond for the man accused of firing shots outside the high school.

Arthur Tineo, 40, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, and multiple other gun charges. He was arrested by Willcox police shortly after one student was cut by glass shattered by a bullet, allegedly fired by Tineo.

A records check reveals that Tineo has served more than two years in Arizona State Prison for Aggravated DUI and a Dangerous Drug Violation, both Class 4 felonies. He was released in June of 2004.

Willcox schools went into lockdown for nearly two hours when Tineo allegedly opened fire on the baseball diamond. Cochise County Sheriffs say it could have been worse - the softball and tennis teams were also playing, meaning there were that many more people that could have been hit by the spray of bullets.

Willcox High School is closed today as part of a usual four-day school week. Classes will resume on Monday. Principal Doris Jones say counselors will be available for any students and staff who want to talk.


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