THE family of a 15-year-old boy accused of killing his parents and three siblings are standing by him.
Court documents portray Nehemiah Griego as a boy haunted by homicidal and suicidal thoughts that included fantasies of killing his girlfriend's parents and gunning down people at a Wal-Mart.
But his relatives say he was a bright, curious and talented musician who played guitar, drums and bass with a church group. He also was a champion wrestler who dreamed of following his family's long tradition of military service – and a boy who accompanied his pastor father on rescue missions to Mexico. The boy's uncle, Eric Griego, appealed to the public not to use the teenager "as a pawn for ratings or to score political points."
The family said in a statement: "Our family is heartbroken over this senseless tragedy. We have not been able to comprehend what led to this incredibly sad situation. However, we are deeply concerned about the portrayal in some media of Nehemiah as some kind of a monster."
After allegedly shooting his parents, his younger brother and two sisters at the family's home in Albuquerque, last Saturday, Griego planned to randomly shoot people at a Wal-Mart.
The sheriff's office identified the dead as Greg Griego (51), his wife Sarah Griego (40) and three of their children: a 9-year-old boy, Zephania Griego, and daughters Jael Griego (5) and Angelina Griego (2).
Greg Griego was a gang member-turned pastor who had served at Calvary, one of Albuquerque's largest Christian churches. He had an extensive arrest record from his gang days.