Categories
Hazing News

Hazing of pledge with a gun shuts down Kappa Sigma: ABC News

A New Mexico State University student has been accused of shooting a classmate in an alleged hazing incident that resulted in his fraternity’s suspension.

Miguel Altamirano was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly shot Jonathan Sillas in the leg as he pledged the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Recent Stories from ABC News

Altamirano could face as many as many as three years in prison if convicted as charged, but his attorney, C.J. McEllhinney, said the shooting wasn’t intentional. He said the shooting happened as the students were “joking around.”

“The evidence in this case is consistent with negligent handling of a firearm and not the crime of aggravated assault,” McEllhinney told ABC News on Thursday. “It is not uncommon for the State of New Mexico to overcharge criminal defendants.”

He said Altamirano was expelled over the November incident, despite showing intense remorse for his actions.

“My client never intended to hurt anyone and is remorseful that Mr. Sillas was injured,” McEllhinney said. This unfortunate incident occurred in the context of a fraternity event.”

Sillas, a criminal justice major, said Kappa Sigma fraternity members pulled him aside and ordered him to turn around during an initiation event. He said he was expecting to get hit with a paddle from behind, but he never imagined he’d be shot.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.