According to the police report, 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego walked into his parents’ bedroom shortly after midnight on Saturday and retrieved a .22 caliber rifle from the closet. His father was not home at the time but his mother, 40-year-old Sara Griego, was sleeping alongside Nehemiah’s 9-year-old brother, Zephania.
Nehemiah took aim and shot his mother in the head as she was sleeping. His brother woke up and did not believe Nehemiah had killed their mother, so Nehemiah told police he lifted her head to show his brother her bloody face. When his brother began crying, Nehemiah shot him in the head as well.
He then walked into the bedroom of his two sisters, 5-year-old Jael and 2-year old Angelina, who were in their beds crying. He then shot them both in the head. Afterwards, he retrieved an AR-15 and hid in a downstairs bathroom for hours, waiting on his father to arrive home.
When 51-year-old Greg Griego arrived and walked past the bathroom, Nehemiah stepped out and shot him multiple times. At some point, he texted his girlfriend a picture of his dead mother. Nehemiah loaded the two rifles in his mother’s vehicle and then drove to church where he told church members that his family was dead.
When his story just didn’t add up, his girlfriend’s grandmother called police. Police arrived and questioned Nehemiah who, after some false starts, finally admitted that he had killed his family. He did not give a motive aside from stating he had anger issues and was upset with his mother. He also said he’d been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts and planned on shooting random people after killing his family.
After police entered Nehemiah’s home and verified his story, he was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.
“You know, I’ve been down there with our investigators this morning, there’s no other way to say it but we have a horrific crime scene we’re working and it’ll be intensive and we’ll work hard to do everything that needs to be done because of all that is involved,” Sheriff Dan Houston said.
If you couldn’t tell by the kids’ names, the Griego family is a religious one. Greg was the brother of former State Senator Eric Griego and worked six years at the Calvary Chapel in Montebllo, California. After moving to New Mexico, Greg lead a prison outreach program as well as the group, Veterans for Christ.
Neighbors described Nehemiah, who was home schooled, as quiet and polite but did mention he seemed to have no friends and liked to walk around the neighborhood wearing camo.
I would be surprised to learn that a home schooled teen from a religious family who regularly dressed in camouflage and was named after a king of Persia’s cup-bearer who enforced the law of Moses in Jerusalem, didn’t have homicidal and suicidal thoughts on a constant basis.